Orange-Apricot-Almond Shortbread Bars

1 C apricot preserves
3 T orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, etc.)
1 C butter, room temperature
3/4 C sugar
1 t almond extract
2 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 C almond paste, crumbled
1/2 C sliced almonds (divided)
Butter a 9-inch square baking pan, and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, allowing it to extend over the sides of the pan. Butter the paper.
In a small bowl, combine the apricot preserves and liqueur.
Beat 1 C of the butter with the sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer. Add the almond extract, then the flour and salt, mixing until just blended.
Transfer 1 C of the dough to a small bowl and add the almond paste. Mix with fingertips to form small clumps. Mix in 1/4 C sliced almonds.
Press the remaining dough evenly on the bottom of the pan. Spread the preserves mixture over this. Crumble the topping over the preserves, then sprinkle the remaining 1/4 C of almonds on top. Press the topping lightly into the preserves.
Bake at 325 F until top and crust edge are golden brown (about an hour). Cool completely in the pan; remove using parchment paper and cut into small bars.
Clipped from a 2005 Bon Appetit magazine.