Blackberry Oatmeal Linzer Bars (just like Grandmother's)
Yield: Makes about 48 bars.
- 2 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned), uncooked
- 2 cups ground lightly toasted almonds or pecans, divided
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, divided
- 4 large egg yolks or 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 jar (18-oz.) seedless blackberry preserves
- 1 cup finely chopped dried cherries or sweetened cranberries
- 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
- 2 cups white chocolate baking chunks
Instructions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine oats, 1-1/2 cups ground almonds, flour, and salt; mix well. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar until creamy. Add egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts; beat well. Stir in oat mixture; mix well. Reserve 1-1/3 cups; put in a small bowl and set aside. Spread remaining oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack.
In a small bowl, combine preserves, dried fruit, and liqueur (if used); mix well. Spread evenly over partially baked crust. Add remaining 1/2 cup ground almonds to reserved oat mixture; mix well. Stir in the baking chunks. Drop by 1/4 teaspoonfuls evenly over apricot mixture. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden-brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered.
Note: Packaged ground almonds and pecans are available in the baking section of many grocery stores. Almonds and pecans can be ground in a food processor. Place steel blade in work bowl; add up to 1 cup of nuts. Process until very finely chopped. Do not overprocess.