+ Raspberry-Shortbread Cookie Tarts +
a recipe by Nancy Silverton
• 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
• 8 large egg whites
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 4-inch overhand on each end.
2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar at high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and salt and beat just until blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Press the dough into the baking pan in an even layer. Score the shortbread lengthwise into thirds, then score crosswise 4 times to make 12 squares. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the shortbread cool completely, about 1 hour.
3. Lift the shortbread out of the pan. Spread the jam evenly over the shortbread. Using a serrated knife, cut the shortbread into 12 squares following the score lines. Transfer the shortbread squares to a large baking sheet.
4. In a large stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir the egg whites with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the heat. Using an electric mixer, beat the whites at medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until a stiff, glossy meringue forms, about 5 minutes longer.
5. Spoon 1/2 cup of the meringue onto each of the squares. Using the back of a spoon, pull up the meringue to form high spikes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes minutes on the baking sheet on a rack, then transfer tarts to the rack and let cool completely. Sift confectioners' sugar over the tops before serving, if desired.