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Raspberry-Almond Shortbread with Marzipan

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Makes 12 generous fingers or fifteen 2-inch (5-cm) rounds 1x

Units Scale

Ingredients

For the shortbread:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons (125 g) cold butter, plus more for the tartlet molds if using
  • 1 cup (125 g) flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (50 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • 5 1/2 oz (150 g) marzipan
  • 2/3 cup (200 g) raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds (optional)

Instructions

To make the shortbread, line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper, extending the parchment above the rim to use for lifting the baked shortbread from the pan, or line the bottom of fifteen 2-inch (5-cm) round tartlet molds with parchment paper and butter the sides.

In a food processor, combine the butter, flour, sugar, almonds, and vanilla and process until the dough is the texture of crumbs. Tip into a bowl and bring together by hand to form a smooth dough.

Press the dough evenly into the prepared square pan, using the back of a spoon to smooth it, or shape the dough into 15 equal-size balls and press each ball into a prepared round mold, bringing the dough up a little higher around the sides. Prick the dough lightly all over with a fork. Arrange the round molds on a large sheet pan. Chill the dough for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).

Bake the shortbread until light golden but still quite soft to the touch, about 20 minutes for the square pan and 8-12 minutes for the tartlet molds. Let cool in the pan or the molds on a wire rack.

While the shortbread is baking, make the topping. Lightly dust a work surface or parchment paper with confectioners’ sugar and roll out the marzipan about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. For the large slab, cut out at least 15 small, medium, and large marzipan shapes using snowflake, star, or any other shaped cutters of your choice. For each small round, cut out 2-3 small marzipan shapes of choice. For tiny snowflakes, a plunger cutter works best. Keep the marzipan to one side.

Preheat the broiler. Using a palette knife or an offset spatula, spread the jam evenly over the top of the large cooled shortbread. If you have baked small rounds, spread a little jam in the center of each round. Position the marzipan shapes on top of the jam. Place the shortbread under the broiler and broil until the marzipan is golden brown, 8-10 minutes. If using the almonds, sprinkle them over the shortbread just before it is ready and return it to the broiler for 1 minute. Watch closely, as marzipan and almonds burn easily.

Let the shortbread cool completely on a wire rack, then carefully ease it out of the square pan or the round molds. Lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar, then, if you have baked the slab, cut into 12 fingers to serve. The shortbread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

— Recipe from Christmas at the Palace