Green Squares. Yep, that’s it, just Green Squares. It’s like playing Catchphrase with traybakes. “Say what you see!” I’ve flicked past this recipe several times when looking for something new to bake for the blog, but this time I had some apricot jam in the house and plenty of ground almonds, so I thought I’d give it a go.
There’s a little more work involved here. You need to make pastry, although it doesn’t need to be blind-baked. Then there’s the jam layer, the almond sponge and then the final icing layer. But you’re rewarded with a sweet, almondy slice that makes it worth the effort.
Now, the only reason I can see why these are called Green Squares is because of food coloring. So, technically you could make these any color you like and call it that instead. As far as I can tell, there is no need for these to be green – it’s not like they’re mint flavored. But the contrast between the green sponge and the white icing works. And it is particularly festive for this time of year!
Don’t spread the jam too close to the edges of the pastry as it will bubble up the sides a little and caramelize on the outside of the traybake. If aesthetics are your thing, you can always trim the edges if this happens. I thought of this after I had taken my photographs, but of course, by the time I realized, Mr Traybakes and Little Miss Traybakes had swooped in for snacks! Also, the almond sponge is very soft and moist, but that’s a nice combination with the pastry layer.
4oz/110g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
2oz/55g unsalted butter
pinch of salt
4oz/110g unsalted butter, softened
4oz/110g caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour (all-purpose flour)
4oz/110g ground almonds (almond flour)
a few drops of green food coloring
1 tsp almond extract
about 6-7 tbsp apricot jam
8oz/225g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C and line a 8″/20cm square tin with baking parchment.
- Make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour and salt. Then use a couple of teaspoons of cold water to bind into a dough. Add the water one teaspoon at a time so it doesn’t get too sticky.
- Roll out the dough and use it to line the base of the tin. You may need to do a little patchwork here and there to fill in any gaps.
- Spread the apricot jam over the pastry, but not too close to the edges as it may bubble up the sides a little as it cooks.
- Make the almond sponge by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, almond extract and food coloring.
- Fold in the flour and ground almonds and mix until it’s all a uniform green color.
- Spread the almond filling over the top of the jam and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool. Mix icing sugar with a little water to make a coating for the top. Spread over the cooled sponge and sprinkle with coconut.
- Leave to set before cutting into squares and enjoy!