These sweet cookies are easy to assemble and have a delicate meringue topping.
Make Ahead: The bottom crust can be baked 2 days in advance. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Servings: 2 dozen bars
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup for the meringue
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup seedless red raspberry preserves
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (preferably glass).
Combine the shortening, salt and 1/4 cup of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, then add the almond extract and egg yolks, beating to incorporate. Add the flour and beat to form a dough that just pulls away from the sides of the bowl; this may take several minutes; or until the mixture just holds together when pressed in your hand.
Transfer to the baking dish; use your hands to pat the dough evenly on the bottom of the pan, creating a slight (1/2 inch or so) edge along the sides. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
While the crust is baking, beat the egg whites in the (clean) bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer on low speed, until foamy, then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar; increase the speed to high and beat to form stiff peaks. Do not overbeat.
Remove the crust from the oven; spread evenly with preserves, then sprinkle the coconut over the preserves.
Spread the egg white mixture over the coconut, making sure to cover the preserves completely. Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the meringue has picked up some color.
Let cool completely before cutting into 24 bars.
Adapted from an old recipe kept by Hagerstown resident Trudy Barrick.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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