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.
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.
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.
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.
Findings: Even hard-to-impress people are impressed by these Dutch Letter Bars.
Conclusion: Just make them.
Dutch Letter Bars
- 1 cup butter
- 2 large eggs
- 8 oz almond paste
- 2 cups sugar + extra for sprinkling
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 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.
These are the spatulas I own, and use regularly for so many different purposes.
These are also made by Wilton. Aren’t they so pretty?
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