Pecan Linzer Bars
These bars have the nutty and jammy vibes of a classic Viennese Linzer torte, the Austrian dessert of almond or hazelnut shortbread layered with preserves. The buttery dough bakes up tender, but it can be difficult to roll out. Here, we’re using the same components in a simplified way: pressing in the crust, crumbling over the topping and baking in a brownie pan before cutting into bars. You can use any nut and preserve combination, but the traditional filling of raspberry jam or red currant jelly offers a nice hit of acidity to contrast the sweet cookie crust.
- Serves: 18 persons
- Unsalted butter, softened, or nonstick spray for pan
- 1cup/120 grams raw pecan halves and pieces
- ⅔cup/142 grams packed light brown sugar
- 1teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- 1teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½teaspoon baking powder
- 1stick/113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1large egg, at room temperature
- 1 ½cups/180 grams all-purpose flour
- 1(13-ounce/370-gram) jar raspberry jam or red currant jelly (about 1 heaped cup)
- Flaky salt
- Confectioners’ sugar
Step 1Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Grease a metal 9-inch square baking pan and line the bottom and two sides with one long piece of parchment, leaving a 1-inch of overhang and creasing the parchment to fit snugly into the pan.
Step 2In a food processor, pulse together 1/2 cup (60 grams) pecans, the sugar, salt, zest, cinnamon and baking powder until very finely ground. Add butter and pulse until creamy and combined; stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor. Add egg and pulse to evenly combine; stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor. Add the flour and pulse until just combined (do not overmix).
Step 3Put two-thirds (about 360 grams) of the dough into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread the dough into an even layer. Bake until dry and lightly golden, rotating the pan once during baking, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
Step 4In the meantime, finely chop the remaining 1/2 cup (60 grams) pecans and mix into the remaining cookie dough.
Step 5Use an offset spatula to evenly spread the jam onto the crust. Evenly crumble over the remaining cookie dough, lightly sprinkle with flaky salt and bake until the topping is browned and the jam is bubbling, rotating the pan once during baking, about 30 minutes.
Step 6Cool completely, at least 1 1/2 hours, then run an offset spatula along the edges to loosen and use the parchment to lift the bars out of the pan. Using a fine mesh strainer, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut crosswise into three 3-inch wide strips. Divide each strip into six 1 1/2-inch wide bars. (In an airtight container, the bars will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.)