Vienna Bars are the small batch version or Ronald Reagan's favorite cookies, Vienna Squares. The original version is made in a 15x10 inch or 9x13 inch pan. This version can be made in either a 9 inch square pan or an 8 inch square pan. The 8 inch pan will give you slightly thicker bars and the time may take a little longer.
Small Batch Vienna Bars
Vienna Bars have a short, buttery bottom layer, a soft, preserve filled second layer, and a crispy light top layer of meringue. I've played around with the crust a little over the years, incorporating things like cornstarch and rice flour, but for the sake of simplicity I'm keeping these with all-purpose flour. It works just fine. For the filling, use your very favorite raspberry preserves. I like Polaner All-Fruit. And for the nuts, you can use whatever you like. I've tested with almonds, pecans, walnuts and macadamia nuts. I don't recommend whole roasted almonds, but slivered almonds would be okay. Macadamia nuts also work in a pinch.
- 1 stick salted butter, softened 4 oz salted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract divided use
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour (190 grams)
Filling and Topping
- 2 large egg whites
- ⅔ cup cold raspberry pie filling or seedless preserves Can use more or less
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels leave out if you want
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts coarsely chopped and toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch or 9 inch square metal pan with nonstick foil.
- With an electric mixer, beat butter, ¼ cup of the sugar, egg yolk (reserve whites) and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla and salt. Stir in flour. If necessary, use your hands to mix all ingredients, but do not over beat. Press into bottom of lined pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly brown around edges.
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Spread cold (this helps keep the chocolate morsels from melting too much) raspberry pie filling or preserves over crust. Sprinkle chocolate morsels over raspberry filling.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar, beating until peaks are stiff. Beat in vanilla.
- Spread the egg white mixture over raspberries and chocolate. Return to oven and bake for about 22-25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Using parchment as handle, lift from pan. Cut into 12 squares.