2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups finely ground almonds
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, cut up
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
4 cups frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries, thawed and drained
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan; set aside.
For crust, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, almonds, and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the mixture; set aside. Press the remaining mixture evenly onto the bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, for filling, in another large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon peel. Add cherries and almond extract; toss gently to combine. Spoon cherry filling over hot baked crust, spreading evenly (mixture will be wet). Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
Bake about 40 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the baked mixture out of the pan. Invert onto a baking sheet; remove foil. Invert again onto a cutting board. Cut into bars. Makes 32 bars.
Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.