Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LINZER BARS

The classic Linzertorte is a great Viennese pastry.  But I have never been one with a lot of patience or effectiveness in making anything fancy.  Over the years I have learned these linzer bars are much easier and just as tasty!

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup raspberry preserves
1 cup whole natural almonds
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil; grease the foil and set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, cook the applesauce until most of the liquid evaporates.  This will take approximately 25 minutes.  Stir in the preserves and set aside.

In a blender (or food processor) grind the almonds with the 2 tablespoons of sugar until they are very fine; set aside.

In a mixer bowl cram the butter until it is light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the 3/4 cup of sugar.  Beat in the egg and lemon peel. 

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture.  Stir in the almond sugar mixture; set aside 1/4 of the dough.  Pat the remaining dough evenly into the prepared baking pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Spread the fruit filling over the baked dough.

Add the egg white to the reserved dough.  Spoon this mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a #1 plain tube or put into a ziplock type plastic bag and cut a small opening in one corner.  Pipe the dough over the filling in a lattice pattern.

Bake bars for 30 minutes.  Cool in pan and cut into 2-inch x 1-inch bars.


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