I've come up with a lot of "dynamic duos" in baking in the past and this recipe is no exception. This time, I decided to combine a rich shortbread-like base under a coconut macaroon topping with a luscious jam in between the two. Sounds good and I guarantee it's tastes as good as it sounds.
Here in the United States, macaroons are mostly a dense, coconut and egg white cookie, sometimes dipped in chocolate and very much like their "ancestors" from Scotland that were more cake-like. The sophisticated macarons from France which are made from ground almonds and egg whites, colored in beautiful pastels and layered with a flavored Swiss buttercream are just as good, but wouldn't work for these bars. I decided to do a jam between the layers, but instead of the usual oat base, this is a shortbread with added dessicated coconut (unsweetened coconut) to enhance the macaroon on top. You can change up the flavor with variety of jam you use; I used up two flavors I had in the refrigerator from what I previous had preserved--Strawberry and Strawberry/Peach, but raspberry, cherry, even blueberry would have been great.
Macaroon Jam Bars
14 T (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar*
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Spray a 9" x 12" baking pan with a non-stick spray--you can also line with parchment.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix up all the dry ingredients, then, gradually add the melted butter and mix until evenly coated. Don't worry, it will still be crumbly.
Spoon into the prepared pan and use your fingers to press firmly.
Bake in the preheated oven about 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Don't over bake.
1 14oz. pkg. Baker's sweetened coconut
1/4 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups of your favorite Jam
In a medium mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the macaroon topping. Mix by hand to incorporate all the ingredients.