Mazurkas (Poland)

We tasted cookies from all over Eastern Europe, and these bars really stood out — they were beautiful, satisfying, sweet and colorful, and[ the dried fruit really sings Christmas. They're usually made on Christmas Eve, but their portability would make them great for bake sales or cookie swaps.]

Total Time:
1 hr 50 min
20 min
45 min
45 min

24 bars

  • Cookie:
  • 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
  • Fruit:
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried dates, quartered
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, each halved
  • 1/2 cup dark or golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons candied orange peel, diced
  • 1/2 cup raw peeled pistachios
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • 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.

  • 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. Serve.

  • 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.

  • Copyright (c) 2007 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

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    This recipe is featured in:

    12 Days of Cookies