Christmas Citrus Squares

2021-12-20

Expecting guests? These zesty citrus squares are sure to make a hit! Full of seasonal citrusy flavor, these delicious, fancy cookies are an elegant addition to your holiday gathering. Use Navel Orange slices in place of the Clementines for garnish for more bright color on a dreary winter’s day!

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1½ c. all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp. corn starch

¼ tsp. salt

¾ c. unsalted butter, softened

? c. sugar

6 Tbsp. red currant jelly

For the filling:

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

½ c. sugar

½ c. sweetened condensed milk

? c. all-purpose flour

Pinch fine salt

6 Navel Oranges, juiced ( 1 c. juice)

2 tsp. Navel Orange zest, grated fine

1 lemon, juiced (4-5 Tbsp. juice)

2 tsp. lemon zest, grated fine

2 Clementines, sliced and cut into small triangular pieces, for garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • Prepare a 9″ x 12½” with butter or cooking spray. Line the pan with foil, leaving an extra 2″ on each side. Butter the foil.
  • Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with sugar on medium until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Turn mixer to low speed, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined (be sure not to over work the dough).
  • Transfer dough to prepared pan, spreading it evenly pressing it to make a ¼” thick covering over the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap, then press and flatten over the top to smooth and even out the dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Remove plastic from dough and prick dough with a fork or a wooden skewer. Bake crust until just golden (about 30 minutes).
  • While dough is baking, melt jelly in a microwave until soft enough to spread (about 1 minute). Spread jelly over crust with a pastry brush. Return to oven and cook an additional 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack (about 1 hour).

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, flour, and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat until thick and slightly pale. Stir in the citrus juices and zest, and whisk gently to blend well.

Pour the filling onto the cooled crust and bake until the filling is firm but still loose and wobbly in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight before cutting.

Remove bars from refrigerator and dip the bottom of it in warm water to soften the butter and release the foil from the sides of the pan. Use foil to lift pastry out of the baking pan and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut into about 50 1 1/2-inch squares, wiping down the knife with a hot, wet towel between cuts. Top each square with a tiny triangular segment of clementine or blood orange (with the peel on) and serve.

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