Recipe, The Liars, Raspberry Squares

For anybody who’s read The Liars, during one specific meeting, Neri and others are eating pastry, specifically raspberry squares. I’ve been making these for years. I love them and it’s pretty easy. I got this out of Food and Wine magazine, the May 2005 edition. They call them Raspberry Shortbread Bars, but for us they’re raspberry squares. Here’s the recipe just in time for Thanksgiving (here in the U.S.) and Christmas.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves

Whisk together the flour and baking soda. Set aside
Cream butter until fluffy (I’m not quite sure what this means, but I just beat it for a minute or so). Add sugar, and beat. Beat in vanilla and *yolks. Mix in flour mixture. It’ll form a stiff dough. Cut it in half. Form each half into a roll, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

In an **8 1/2 by 11 inch glass baking dish, using the wide side of a cheese grater, grate on roll into the dish. Spread it out to cover the bottom of the dish, but not to press it down. Spoon out little dollops of the preserves and spread it across the grated butter/flour mixture. Again, try not to press too hard. When done, grate the second loaf over the preserves.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until it starts to brown. Cover lightly with tin foil and bake another 15 to 20 minute. Let cool completely before cutting into raspberry squares.

*Tip for separating yolks. Ordinarily if you crack an egg flat against a hard surface, you’ll end up with less pieces of egg shell. However, if you want to separate the yolk, it’s best to crack it against a sharp edge. I’ve found that using a flat surface makes it more likely that you’ll break the yolk before starting to separate.

** I don’t have one of these. I’ve used a square 8 by 8, and used less of the loaf mixture. I’ve tried a 3.8 quart stone baking pan as well. It’s really a matter of adjusting the cooking time and the amount of the butter/flour mixture you use. The raspberry squares always come out great, no matter what you do though!

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