Sunday, June 5, 2011

Strawberry Linzer Bars

The hunt for nut based cookies keeps going. This here is a bar cookie that plays off the classic Linzertorte. I used one bag of ground hazelnuts/filberts to make a dough that is layered with strawberry jelly and topped with some reserved crumbled dough. I know raspberry is the more traditional option, but they were out in the supermarket. The girls found these bars interesting and happily ate them, but I was in love with the scent of the hazelnuts, toasting as they baked. (Whenever I buy raw hazelnuts for snacking, I ALWAYS toast them before eating. There is just nothing like it.) Everything comes together super fast with a handy-dandy mixer. Be aware that the crust won't deeply brown and also grease your pan WELL so you have no breakage where the jelly sticks to the pan. Only three bags of nuts to go!

Strawberry Linzer Bars
adapted from the Cookie Companion

Crust and Topping:
3/4 cup margarine or butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup regular sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups finely ground hazelnuts
2 cups flour

1 1/4 cups strawberry or raspberry jelly
powdered sugar, optional

Preheat your oven to 350. Generously grease a 9x13 inch pan.
 Place the margarine, sugars, salt, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon and extract in the bowl of your stand mixer,
 and cream.
 Add the egg,
 and mix well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
 Add the dry ingredients,
 and mix just until combined. Set aside one cup of the dough and chill.
 Press the remaining dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
 Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden.
 Remove from the oven and spread with the jelly of your choice.
 Crumble the reserved dough atop the jelly.
 Return to the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the jam is bubbly. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, cut and serve.

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