This recipe, from Seven Spoons blogger Tara O'Brady, appeared in our 2012 Cookie Advent Calendar."These exceptionally pretty, nut-flecked bars are an annual favourite for me and my family. The combination of a nutty dough and sweet jam creates a peanut-butter-and-jelly appeal, but the addition of fragrant vanilla and bright orange zest dresses up the classic pairing for the holiday table."
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
- 3⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1⁄2 cup hazelnuts, roasted, cooled, and finely ground in a food processor
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
- 2⁄3 cup raspberry preserves
- 1 tsp. orange zest
Line a 9" square baking pan with parchment paper and grease; set aside. Whisk together both flours, hazelnuts, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed of a hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla seeds. Add dry ingredients, and beat until just combined. Remove and reserve ½ cup dough; transfer remaining dough to prepared pan and press into bottom. Using an offset spatula, spread remaining dough into a 9" square on a sheet of parchment paper; refrigerate both doughs for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350°. Stir together preserves and zest in a bowl, and then spread over dough in baking pan. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 10 strips; lay 5 strips crosswise and then lay the remaining 5 strips lengthwise to form a grid over preserves. Bake until golden brown and preserves are bubbling, about 45–50 minutes. Let cool completely; unmold and cut into 36 squares.