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Almond, Apricot and White Chocolate Decadence Bars

Prep Time:35 min
Start to Finish:3 hr 35 min

Cookie Base
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg, slightly beaten

Filling
1 package (7 or 8 oz) almond paste (not marzipan)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots (6 oz)
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice

Topping
1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups)
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie base ingredients until soft dough forms. Spread dough in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until set. Cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat almond paste and sugar with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly but blended. Add apricots; beat on low speed just until combined. Add cream cheese, 2 eggs and the lemon juice; beat on medium speed until well blended. Pour over warm cookie base.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Cool 30 minutes.

Place baking chips in small bowl. In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream just to boiling over low heat, stirring occasionally; pour over baking chips. Let stand 1 minute. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour and spread over filling. Sprinkle with almonds. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until set. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes: 36 bars

Betty Crocker http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/recipe.aspx?recipeID=45633