Christmas Chocolate Layer Bars


For the crust:

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened just slightly {do not substitute margarine}
  • eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

For the chocolate filling:

  • 12 oz. (2 c.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 c. slivered almonds
  • 1 c. red & green M&Ms


  1. PREPARE THE CRUST:  Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut butter into small pieces. With an electric mixer on low speed, blend in almond extract, butter, and eggs. (Mixture will be VERY crumbly ... do not over mix. If mixed together too well, the crust will bake up very hard.)
  2. Put 2/3 of the crumb mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking dish; pat down very lightly with your fingers. Set aside.
  3. PREPARE THE CHOCOLATE FILLING:  Put cream cheese, chocolate chips, and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute to melt, stirring after 30 seconds. (If not melted, microwave in 20-second intervals until melted.) Once melted, stir in almonds.
  4. Pour chocolate filling over prepared crust. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture evenly on top.  Sprinkle M&Ms on top and gently press down into crumb mixture with the palm of your hand.
  5. BAKE:  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely and cut into small squares. Store in the refrigerator.


Source:  The Kitchen is My Playground