Here at SWEETTABLESCAPES, we bake cookies on a daily basis and most of them require cookie cutters and fancy decoration, so when labor becomes a bit too much, it is always nice to turn to the easier but still-so-tasty “bar cookies”. A large cookie sheet, some crunchy dough, some jam, nuts or other “cover” and you have a generous amount of treats, easily sliced in individual portions. These “Apricot Windows” from Martha Stewart (Special Issue Holiday, 2001) are quick, easy, pretty and simply delicious!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 11-by-17-inch baking pan with cooking spray, and line with parchment; set aside. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a #11 plain tip. Spoon jam into a medium bowl, and beat with a rubber spatula to smooth out texture; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Reduce speed to low, add reserved flour mixture, and beat until thoroughly combined. Remove 1 3/4 cups of the dough; use it to fill the prepared pastry bag. Fold the end over to keep dough from drying out; set aside.
Using an offset spatula, spread the remaining dough into the prepared pan as evenly and smoothly as possible. Spread jam over dough in an even layer. Take pastry bag and pipe parallel lines of dough spaced 1/2 inch apart over jam. Repeat with perpendicular lines to create a grid. Bake until golden about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into 1-by-3-inch bars or 3-inch squares.