Chocolate Nut Bars

For the base:

2 1/2 cups flour
16 T. butter, cold
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. almonds, blanched, sliced, toasted

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 13″ baking pan.  In a food processor, combine the flour and sugar.  Cut the butter into 1″ pieces and put it on top of the flour mixture.  Add the almonds and pulse until the butter pieces are the size of a pea. Press the mixture into the buttered pan.  Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges are beginning to color.

For the topping:

8 T. unsalted butter; cold
1 c/ brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
 1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
6 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate (1 1/2 cups)
6 oz walnuts, toasted, chopped (1 1/2 cups)

Cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanlla and then beat in the flour and salt, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Add the chopped chocolate and nuts and mix just to incorporate.  Spread the topping over the curst and bake for another 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  The bars should be firm to the touch.

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