Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares
Once again, I'm probably one of the few bloggers who hasn't made these fun, crispy cookies. And after I made them, I took one look and decided I must have messed up the recipe. They tasted delightful, but I wondered: is this what they're supposed to look like? So I did some research online and discovered mine turned out exactly right.
Lisa suggested soaking your dried fruit in some water (or fruit juice or wine) for about 20 minutes only to soften the fruit. (Might be fun to soak the fruit in rum or brandy during the holidays.) Then drain and dry before continuing on with the recipe.
So keep in mind: if it looks like you've screwed up the recipe, you've probably made them perfectly.
Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares
From Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich Via Lisa is Cooking
(Makes 24 to 32 two-and-a-half-inch squares)
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest or ground cinnamon or anise
1 cup moist dried fruit (one kind or a combination); dark or golden raisins; dried sour cherries; dried cranberries; coarsely chopped dates; dried apricots, or prunes; finely chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup turbinado or other coarse sugar
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork. With a large spoon in a medium mixing bowl or with a mixer, beat butter with the granulated sugar until smooth and well blended but not fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and form each into a rectangle. Wrap the patties in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes to soften slightly. On a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll one piece of dough into a rectangle 81/2 inches by 16 1/2 inches. With a short side facing you, scatter half of the dried fruit on the bottom half of the dough. Fold top half of the dough over fruit, using the paper as a handle. Peel paper from the top of dough. (If it sticks, chill dough for a few minutes until the paper peels easily.) Dust top of dough lightly with half of the coarse sugar and pat lightly to make sure the sugar adheres. Use a heavy knife to trim the edges.
Cut into 4 strips and then cut each strip into 4 pieces to make 16 squares. Place cookies 2 inches apart on lined or greased cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough, fruit, and sugar.Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Rotate pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. For lined pans, set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to racks. Cool cookies completely before stacking or storing. May be kept in an airtight container for a week.