Old-fashioned Almond Strips (Almond Pastry Bars)

Almond strips (pastry bars) on plate

When I make a pie, I sprinkle any remaining pastry scraps with cinnamon and sugar, and then bake until light browned. These scraps are good, but I found a hundred-year-old recipe for Almond Strips that takes it to the next level.

Almond Strips are bars of baked pastry dough topped with cinnamon, sugar, and almond slices. These bars are a great way to use those pastry scraps – yet are so pretty and tasty that they can be served without apology.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Almond Strips
Source: Recipes for Everyday by Janet McKenzie Hill (1919)

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Almond Strips

  • Servings: approx. 6 bars
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup almond slices

pie pastry for a 1-shell pie (or use scraps of pastry dough left-over after making a pie crust)

1 egg white

Put sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; stir to combine. Then add almond slices; stir. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425° F. Roll pie pastry into a rectangle 1/4-inch thick. Cut into strips 2 inches X 4 inches. Place strips on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon/almond mixture. Make sure the sugar and almonds are distributed evenly across the bars. Press lightly.  Bake for approximately 10 -15 minutes (or until lightly browned).

Old-fashioned Chocolate Almond Drop Cookies

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, May 21, 1911: Went to Sunday school this afternoon. The whole Stout family was over this evening. Wormed the results of that letter out of Carrie.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This entry describes one of the really nice characteristics of rural life—neighbors just dropping by to visit.  One hundred years ago, on warm spring evenings neighbors probably often gathered to chat about the weather, share the local news, or talk about …. well, just whatever. Long-term friendships were formed over the years—and people would discuss anything and everything.

The adults may have sat around the kitchen table —while the young folks wandered off for their own discussions.  Cookies or other refreshments may have been served. A small cookbook published in 1911 to advertise KC Baking Powder contained this recipe for chocolate almond drop cookies:

K C Almond Drop Cookies

2 eggs, beaten light

1 cup sugar

2 ounces chocolate melted

1 ½ cups blanched almonds, chopped

1 teaspoonful vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 level teaspoonful K C Baking Powder

½ teaspoonful each, salt and cinnamon

Sift together, three times, the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. To the eggs add the sugar, chocolate, almonds, extract, and lastly the flour mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls upon a buttered baking pan. Bake in a moderate oven. This recipe makes about three dozen little cakes.

The Cook’s Book (KC Baking Powder,1911)

When I tried this recipe, I heated the oven to 375 degrees and baked the cookies for about 12-14 minutes. I didn’t sift the flour—and I used unsweetened chocolate, sliced almonds, and a different brand of baking powder. I was surprised that the recipe didn’t call for any butter or other shortening.

The cookies are tasty with a slight hint of cinnamon, and the recipe is definitely a keeper.