Fruit Filled Shortbread Bars

  • Serves: Makes one, 9 x 13-inch pan - about 24 2-inch squares
  • Views: 8687
  • Comments: 35


These shortbread bars are rich and buttery, I recommend a serving size of a 2-inch square.
They go perfectly with coffee, or a big glass of cold milk...yum yum!
COOKIE RECIPE HELP

Sarah's
Secrets

To prevent the flour from flying out of the mixer bowl, when you are adding it to the wet ingredients, drape a clean kitchen towel over the bowl of your mixer.

INGREDIENTS
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter; can be cold from the refrigerator
2 cups sugar
4 large egg yolks; can be cold from the refrigerator
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, OR 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup fruit jam, such as seedless raspberry, blackberry, apricot, or citrus marmalades
The zest of one lemon (use only for non-citrus fillings)

1 cup powdered sugar, for dusting

INSTRUCTIONS
Mix the dough:
1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
KELLY SAYS: I like to sift the dry ingredients together, after measuring, to get out any possible flour lumps.

Action shot of sifting:

2. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, on medium high speed, till it is light and fluffy.
SARAH SAYS: If the butter is cold from the refrigerator, cut each stick into four to six pieces beforehand.

SARAH SAYS: When the butter is sufficiently beaten, the beater blades will form distinct ridges in the butter. The butter won't be greasy and if you
touch the side of the bowl, it should be somewhat cool or cold.
If the butter is greasy looking or foamy, or the bowl feels warm, place the bowl in the refrigerator until the butter is cold. Then, go to the next step.

3. With the mixer on low, add the sugar, egg yolks and extract.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.

Set the mixer speed to medium and beat till the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture is fluffy.

SARAH SAYS: When the mixture is sufficiently beaten, the beater blades will form distinct ridges in the butter. The butter won't be greasy and if you
touch the side of the bowl, it should be somewhat cool or cold.
If the mixture is greasy looking or foamy, or the bowl feels warm, place the bowl in the refrigerator until the mixture is cold. Then, go to the next step.

4. With the mixture on low, add the flour mixture, mixing only until the ingredients are incorporated and a stiff dough forms. Do not over mix.

Form the bars and preheat the oven:
1. Place the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and gather into a ball.
Do not knead the dough while doing so.

2. Cut dough in half, flatten each section into a disk and wrap each disk in plastic wrap.

3. Chill the dough disks in the freezer till very firm, at least three hours.

4. When disks are firm, position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9- X 13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Remove one disk from the freezer.

5. With a very sharp knife, cutting straight down, cut the first disk into several sections ... you want the section to be small enough to fit in the feed tube of your food processor.

6. Using the largest grating disk on your processor, grate the first disk of dough.
KELLY  SAYS: If you do not have a food processor, you can use the large holes of a box grater, but you will be very, very tired when you are done.
If you do, work on one dough disk from the freezer at a time.

7. Add the lemon zest to the jam and then heat the jam mixture in the microwave at 50% power, till only slightly warm, and loosened.
Do not overheat. Set aside to cool.

8. Sprinkle the grated dough evenly in the prepared pan. Do not press the dough down, just make sure to cover the pan evenly.
NOTE: When you process the dough, some of the dough may become lodged between the grating plate and the lid of the processor. Just remove it from the lid, and break it up into the baking dish.

9. Spoon the cooled jam over the dough in the pan, and gently spread it around to cover the dough.

10. Take the second disk of dough from the freezer, and cut and grate it, like you did the first one, Step #s 5 and 6, above..
Sprinkle the grated dough evenly over the jam layer, to cover. Do not press the dough down.

Bake the bars:
1. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

2. As soon as you remove the baked shortbread from the oven, sift powdered sugar, generously over the cookies.

3. Let cookies cool in the pan, on a rack.

4. When cookies are cool, cut into squares or bars.
KELLY CA SAYS: You must wait till the cookies are completely cool, before you cut them out. I know it's tempting, but you have to wait!

STORAGE
Store covered at room temperature for a day or two and then, refrigerate. Bars can be frozen for a month or more.
Thaw, still wrapped at room temperature.

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