Dutch Letter Bars

Dutch Letter Bars…aka the easiest dessert you will ever make!

If you’re from Iowa, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ve been to the Tulip Festival in Pella Iowa, and had a fresh-baked Dutch Letter from one of the amazing bakeries on the town square. And if you’re not from Iowa, and haven’t experienced this, well, I feel sad for you, because the tulips are incredible, and the Dutch Letters really are that good.

But, since taking a little joyride to Pella for the sole purpose of getting a Dutch Letter isn’t really feasible most of the time, I have a backup option for you.

Now, I’m not saying that these Dutch Letters Bars are just as good as Dutch Letters fresh from Jaarsma Bakery, but they are close. Plus, the recipe calls for only 5 ingredients, and is extremely simple to make. So, if you’re craving a Dutch Letter fix, I got you covered.

And if you’ve never had a Dutch Letter, well, give these bars a try, but I still suggest you make a point to find yourself an authentic Dutch bakery, and buy a true Dutch Letter. Really. It should be on your bucket list.

Five Ingredients

One of the great things about this recipe (besides the fact that it’s scrumptious) is that it only takes 5 ingredients. And 4 of those ingredients you probably have on hand already.

The fifth, almond paste, is readily available in the baking aisle of almost any grocery store. Add it to your shopping list, so you can whip these super easy bars up soon!

Mix It All Together

Another thing that makes this recipe great is how simple it is to prepare. Are you ready? Here’s how you do it…. dump all 5 ingredients in your mixer bowl and turn it on. That’s it.

For real.

Spread It In Your Baking Dish

Grease a rectangular baking dish well, and dump the dough into it. The recipe calls for a 9×13 inch pan, but you can vary the size depending on how thick you want your bars.

I wanted to use this white baker with the pretty edge detail, and it’s only 8×12, so my bars were on the thicker side, which I didn’t mind one bit.

Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly around in your pan.

Sprinkle the top generously with sugar. Don’t skip this step, because it gives the top a nice crispy texture, reminiscent of real Dutch Letters.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Yum

Cool completely before cutting into bars. The top will be crisp and flakey, and the center will be dense and chewy. Oh my word.

And if these pictures aren’t enough to convince you to make these, let me present you with some more evidence. My son insisted that he doesn’t “really like desserts”, when I tried to serve these bars to him this past weekend when he was here for dinner. I packed some up and sent them home with him anyway. Later that night, I received a text.

Exhibit A:

Findings: Even hard-to-impress people are impressed by these Dutch Letter Bars.

Conclusion: Just make them.

Dutch Letter Bars

thehouseonsilverado
A delcious and easy bar recipe, that will remind you of authentic Dutch Letters.
5 from 5 votes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 bars

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 8 oz almond paste
  • 2 cups sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Combine all 5 ingredients together in mixing bowl, until well blended.
  • Grease a 9×13 inch pan. You can use a slightly smaller pan if you'd prefer your bars to be thicker. I put mine in an 8×11.
  • Sprinkle the top of the bars with sugar. This step is important, because it gives the top a slightly crisp texture, reminiscent of actual Dutch Letter Bars.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is just lightly golden brown.
  • Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Resources:

Wilton Icing Spatula Set for Baking, 3-Piece – 13 and 9-Inch Angled and 11-Inch Straight Spatulas

These are the spatulas I own, and use regularly for so many different purposes.

Wilton Navy Blue and Gold Icing Spatula Set, 3-Piece,Assorted

These are also made by Wilton. Aren’t they so pretty?

White Ruffled Rectangular Stoneware & Bakeware Dish, 12.5″ x 8.375″

This post contains affiliate links.

30 thoughts on “Dutch Letter Bars

  1. I’m a baker of all things sweet but have to say these are new to me. And, boy, do they sound delicious. If I halve the recipe to bake in an eight by eight or nine by nine pan by how much would you think I would shorten the cooking time? Thanks!

    1. If you reduce the pan size, I’d begin with 15 minutes, and just keeping adding minutes and checking it frequently. However, these will freeze well , too, if you wanted to make the full-sized recipe and have some for later. 🙂

  2. I have never heard of Dutch Letter bars before. But looking at the ingredients, I’m pretty sure I’ve had a few in my life since I live next to The Netherlands 😁 I am very thankful for your recipe cuz it is soooo good indeed! And now we can make our very own! Love it.

  3. 5 stars
    Oh, my goodness! This looks so good! I’ve never had Dutch Letter bars, so I have no frame of reference. But, I LOVE almond and so the thought of a loaded almond baked good is amazing! I definitely want to try this to share with my family!

  4. These look delicious. Im going to have to invest in some American style measuring cups so I can start making recipies that state cups.
    #pocolo

  5. I don’t live that far away from Pella and even went to Central College. I’ve had Dutch letters, but these bars sound like I need to make them!! Thank you 😊

  6. I have never heard of Dutch Letter Bars before but they look AMAZING and I bet they taste divine. I need to give these a try, I think I have all of the ingredients fortunately! 🙂 A lovely treat! Sim x #TrafficJamWeekend

  7. 5 stars
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    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
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  8. Congrats! This was the most clicked from last week’s Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Link Party! You’ll find it featured at this week’s, which goes live today (Saturday) at 5pm EST.

  9. I was so curious when I saw the name ‘Dutch Cookie Bars’. I’ve never heard about these cookies and I’m Dutch :-D. But now that I have, I definitely have to try them. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Have a nice week!

    1. Hi Liz, I hope you will try them and come back and tell me your thoughts! It’s so interesting that you’re Dutch and have never heard of them! Here in Iowa, in Pella especially which is a whole town with Dutch heritage and festivals, they are so well known!

  10. Well, you just taught an old Iowa gal a new recipe — born and raised in IA, but have never heard or had a Dutch Letter Bar during all that time…! Looks like I truly have been missing out! Grew up knowing about Pella, IA, and all about its rich Dutch heritage, so am excited to try this recipe very soon. Long ago left Iowa to move to neighboring Minnesota — will be interesting to see if any of the natives here are familiar with Dutch Letter Bars…?

  11. 5 stars
    We loved featuring your awesome post here on Full Plate Thursday,503 this week. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and hope you will come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

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