Strawberry Jam Bars With Cardamom
These sandwich bars are a delightful mix of textures and flavors. The preference here is a red fruit jam for its acidic pop, but you can go with any jam you have on hand. The nuts give an additional crunch to the topping and may add a fun color contrast. These fruity, spiced cookies can be assembled, kept refrigerated, or wrapped and frozen. You can bake them straight out of the fridge or freezer, but if baking from frozen, add a few extra minutes to ensure a nice golden crust on the bottom. (This cookie is one of six cookies that you can make with this Butter Shortbread Dough recipe. If you make that dough, you can make a double batch of the Strawberry Jam Bars or try any of the other five recipes.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1cup/230 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
- 1teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- 1cup/205 grams granulated sugar
- 1large egg yolk
- 2 ½cups/ 320 grams all-purpose flour
- 2teaspoons ground cardamom
- 8tablespoons strawberry jam or any red fruit jam, such raspberry or red currant
- 2tablespoons chopped nuts, such as slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or pistachios
- 1lemon, for zest
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting over the top
Step 1Butter a 9-inch square metal baking pan and line the bottom and two sides with long strips of parchment, leaving a 1-inch of overhang and creasing the parchment to fit snugly into the pan.
Step 2Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, salt, and sugar. Beat on low speed until incorporated and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. (Do not beat until fluffy, you don’t need to incorporate air into the dough.) Add the yolk and mix until just combined. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Step 3Add the flour to the bowl all at once and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer speed to low and beat until flour is fully incorporated, scraping the bowl again if needed, about 30 seconds. The dough will be in large crumbles.
Step 4(If you’re starting with a half batch of Butter Shortbread Dough, start here.) Add the ground cardamom and mix with your fingers to incorporate it into the dough. Remove 1 cup of the crumbled dough to a small bowl and refrigerate. Transfer the remaining dough to the buttered pan and flatten into an even layer by pressing into the pan using the flat bottom of a glass. Bake on the middle rack until the edges are golden brown and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, 30 minutes. Cool in the pan slightly, for at least 15 minutes.
Step 5Spread the fruit jam in an even layer over the surface of the crust. Zest the lemon right over the top of the jam, and sprinkle with the chopped nuts and reserved crumble. Return to the oven and bake, rotating once, until the top is golden brown and the jam is sizzling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, at least 1 1/2 hours. Run a knife along the edges to release the sides. Use the parchment to lift the cookie out of the pan onto a cutting board. Dust the top with confectioners sugar. Cut the cookie into 4 strips, then cut each strip into six 1-inch wide bars.