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This recipe comes direct from the Food Network Kitchens, and was presented as an Around-the-World cookie theme for 2007 Christmas --HOWEVER--Mazurki are actually an Easter tradition in Poland, the culmination of a days-long food fest. If you're not a stickler for tradition, they make a lovely, bejeweled presentation on a cookie platter: a shortbread base hosting a gleaming assortment of dried fruits. Although it's not part of the recipe, I always soak my raisins, craisins and other chewy dried fruits in warm water and brandy for about 15 minutes for a better effect in baking. Busy baker's tips: When double-wrapped, the cookie base keeps at room temperature for 3 days or frozen for 1 month. The fruit compote can be made up to 1 week ahead and refrigerated. Store completed cookies in an airtight container, layers separated with parchment paper, for up to 5 days. Enjoy! This is a favorite holiday recipe in my home.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, soft, but still cool
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1⁄2 cup dried apricot, diced
- 1⁄2 cup dried dates, quartered
- 1⁄2 cup dried cherries, each halved
- 1⁄2 cup golden raisin
- 3 tablespoons candied orange peel, diced
- 1⁄2 cup raw peeled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with butter or nonstick spray.
- Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- Prepare all the chopped fruits and candied orange peel, and set aside.
- For the cookie:
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl, with an electric mixer, at medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat well, and then scrape down the sides.
- While mixing on low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches. Scrape down the bowl between each addition, and mix until just blended.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake until light golden brown with spots of darker golden brown and darker edges, about 30 minutes.
- Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the fruit:
- Whisk the cornstarch and sugar together in a small saucepan.
- Whisk in orange juice until mixture dissolves.
- Stir in the fruits and candied orange peel.
- Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring often; continue to cook, stirring until thickened into a compote, about 3 minutes more. You should be able to draw the spoon along the bottom of pan and see the pan with no liquid seeping back.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the nuts and lemon zest.
- Spread fruit evenly over the top of the cooled crust.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake mazurkas until golden brown around edges and fruit sets but is still slightly glossy and jewel-like, about 10 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.
- Cut, using an oiled knife, into 24 bars.