Hungarian Pastry Jam Bars

Yield: 12 to 16 bars Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 50 minutes July 12, 2016

These bars have a tender pastry base, a layer of raspberry jam, a layer of browned egg whites similar to merengue, and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. They’re the perfect dessert for girls’ night.

Recipe from The Kitchn.

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts, divided

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300ยบ. Prepare a 9x13" pan by greasing lightly with cooking spray or butter.

Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. Gently transfer to a separate bowl and set aside.

Use the mixer to cream the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg yolks, and beat for a full three or four minutes, until their volume has increased and the mixture is yellow and smooth.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture with a wooden spoon or your hands. Pat it out in the prepared pan, crimping it into the corners; if the dough is a little crumbly just press it in firmly.

Spread the dough with jam; sprinkle 1/2 cup ground walnuts over the jelly and spread beaten egg whites evenly over the nuts. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over egg whites.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. Watch carefully and avoid over-baking the egg white topping. It should be crisp but not really brown at all. The crust should be just barely golden brown.

Cut into squares when cool. Store in a closed container at room temperature for up to 5 days. These are best on the day they are made, as the egg white topping softens after a day.

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