CHERRY LINZER BARS

Recipe courtesy of Judy's Kitchen (http://judyskitchen.blogspot.com)
Adapted from Family Circle Magazine, 12/7/82 
Rating:  10 out of 10


INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup dried sweetened tart cherries

1/4 cup orange juice

2-1/2 cups tart cherry jam*

1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks, 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 tsp. Diamond kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 large egg

5 hard-boiled egg yolks, pressed through a sieve

2-2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted before measuring

1 cup finely ground almonds with skins (about 2/3 cup whole almonds)**

About 1/4 cup powdered sugar


Combine dried cherries and orange juice in small saucepan and heat to boiling; cover; steep for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.  When cool, stir in cherry jam.  Set aside.


Combine butter, salt, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, whole egg and sieved yolks in work bowl of food processor; pulse till well combined and fluffy.  Add half the flour and half the almonds; pulse till just barely mixed.  Repeat with remaining flour and almonds, pulsing till well combined.  Scrape dough from work bowl onto plastic wrap, mixing with hands any bits of flour or egg that were not incorporated into dough.  Roll plastic wrap up around dough and refrigerate at least one hour, or until dough is chilled and firm enough to handle easily.


Heat oven to 350F.  Press 2/3 of the dough in an even layer on bottom and up sides of an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan.  Spread jam evenly over dough.  Roll remaining dough, a small portion at a time, with palms of hands on a floured surface into very thin strips, about 1/4” in diameter.  Arrange strips on jam to form a diamond pattern.  Bake 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into 2” x 1-1/4” rectangles to serve.


*You may use any flavor of tart jam.  If you use wild blueberry jam, then use dried blueberries instead of dried cherries.  If you use apricot jam, then use dried cut apricots.  If you use raspberry jam, you can use dried cherries or blueberries. 

*You may use hazelnuts or walnuts instead of almonds, if desired.


TIP:  An easy way to sprinkle powdered sugar is to spoon it into a small sieve, then gently shake the sieve over the pastry.