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Linzertorte Bars

Linzertorte Bars
This recipe transforms the classic Viennese pastry into quick-and-easy cookies. Fill them with your favorite preserves or even marmalade.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts or slivered blanched almonds
  • 3 Tbs. plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
      temperature
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup apricot or raspberry preserves
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Butter the foil.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a blender, coarsely chop the nuts. Add the 3 Tbs. granulated sugar and process finely. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.

Combine the butter, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat until fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the nut and flour mixtures and mix just until blended.

Spread 1 3/4 cups of the batter in the prepared pan. Top with the preserves, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Spoon the remaining batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe the batter in a lattice pattern atop the preserves. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Bake until the preserves begin to bubble and the crust is just firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Using the foil, lift the sheet from the pan. Peel back the foil sides. Cut into 20 squares. Using a sieve, sift confectioners' sugar evenly over the tops. Remove the bars from the foil. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Makes 20 bars.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Cookies & Biscotti, by Kristine Kidd (Time-Life Books, 1993).