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Swiss Almond Bars

Makes about 40 bar cookies

This is a delicious Swiss cookie recipe that came from my mother. The baking process is similar to Italian biscotti in that the dough is baked, sliced into bars and baked again, producing crunchy, tasty cookies. The only drawback to this recipe is finding the rosewater. It is available in some health food stores, specialty shops, drugstores and high-end grocery stores. If you cannot find it locally, there are Internet baking resource sites that carry it. There really is no substitute that provides the same flavor, other than just a few drops of rose syrup or essence, which are equally difficult to find. You can substitute an equal amount of a different flower-based water. If all else fails, substitute almond or vanilla extract in a lesser amount, about 1 teaspoon. The flavor will be different, but the cookies will be very good.


Cream butter and 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, one at a time. Add rosewater, cinnamon and salt; beat well. Gradually stir in flour, blending well to make a stiff dough. Blend in half of the chopped almonds, reserving the other for the top. Cover dough; chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Divide chilled dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope 10-inches long; flatten slightly. Place ropes next to each other on work surface. Brush tops with egg white. Mix reserved almonds with 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle over dough. Transfer ropes to lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets and place 3-inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool for 10 minutes. Cut each rope crosswise on the diagonal into 1-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on the cookie sheet. Return to the oven and bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets to wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.