Cherry Marizpan Streusel Squares :rectnt

Cherry Marizpan Streusel Squares

I love the combination of cherries and almonds, so the name of these bars (not to mention the full page color photo!), caught my eye. After making them once according to the recipe - or as close as I could get with what I had on hand - there are a couple of changes I would like to try. (See Parting Shots) However, on the whole, these squares were exquisite and quite unusual. Definitely worthy of a special occasion!

Pastry Base:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, chilled and diced
1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Streusel Topping:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened and cubed
1 3/4 ounce marzipan, diced
1/2 cup undyed glace cherries, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds

5 Tablespoons cherry jam (I used naturally sweetened cherry-raspberry jam)

Almond Layer:
6 1/2 Tablespoons butter, softened and cubed
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup ground almonds
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


For the pastry, put the flour, butter, and sugar in an electric mixer and whiz until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Add 2 Tablespoons cold water and whiz again.
Add a few more drops of water, if needed to bring together into a dough.
Tip the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and roll out until it is about 1/8-inch thick.*
Trim the edges with a sharp knife to make a 7 1/2-inch square.
Line the base of a 7-inch square pan with the dough - it will come slightly up the inside of the pan all the way round.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To make the streusel topping, tip the flour and sugar into the electric mixer and whiz together.
Add the butter and whiz until the mixture is crumbly.
Stir in the marzipan, glace cherries, and almonds; set aside.

To make the almond layer, mix all the ingredients together in the electric mixer until amalgamated.

Spred the cherry jam on top of the chilled pastry base.
Spoon blobs of the almond mixture on top of the jam and spread them out with a spatula.
Scatter the streusel topping over the top.
Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Cover with foil towards the end of cooking to prevent over-browning.
Let cool in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

*I simply transferred the crumbly mixture directly to the pan, then patted it into a thin layer.

After having made this, I plan to make two changes to the recipe:
1. Instead of glace cherries, I used dried, sweetened tart cherries. Next time instead of mixing them into the streusel mixture, I plan to chop them and stir them into the cherry jam. They seemed a bit odd to me in the streusel, whereas, I think they will intensify the cherry flavor when combined with the jam.
2) I plan to adjust the streusel recipe a bit since this streusel was very dry and almost "powdery" instead of sticking together in little clumps. I will use the same ingredients but will try doubling the amount of butter/margarine. What I plan to try next time is to double the amount of butter/margarine.

Source: Weekend Baking: Easy Recipes for Relaxed Family Baking by Sarah Randall, published by Ryland, Peters and Small, 2010 (part of my cookbook collection); posted by LuAnn for KRT.


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