Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Hungarian ShortbreadMay 1, 2012 at 12:01 am | Posted in cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 20 Comments
Tags: baking, cookies, dessert
Glad I didn’t have to wait very long for TWD to choose Gale Gand’s Hungarian Shortbread…this recipe has been calling to me since I bought Baking with Julia years ago (but I was rather painfully pretending I couldn’t hear because of all the butter). Shortbread dough with a homemade rhubarb jam layered in between– oh, come on. Actually, I didn’t find rhubarb at the greenmarket in my neighborhood the weekend I made these, so I used it as an excuse to help clear out the fridge and went with store-bought jam instead (I used Sarabeth’s Plum Cherry).
I made half of a recipe, which worked wonderfully in an 8-inch square metal cake pan (I prepped it with parchment first). The dough is pretty cinchy to layer in the pan because you freeze it and grate it….then just sprinkle the grated dough fluff right in and pat without really pressing much. I grated my dough the old-fashioned way, but I hear a food processor works great, too. I figured my store-bought jam would likely be sweeter than a homemade rhubarb one, so I cut back on the sugar in the shortbread just a tad to compensate. Then I added in a splash of vanilla and bumped up the salt with an extra pinch. I didn’t want the bottom layer to be rawsies (which can sometimes happen with multilayered bar cookies), so I decided to par bake the bottom crust before adding jam and top layers. Twenty minutes in the oven was enough to make the bottom layer look set but not browned, which was all I was going for.
I went to Budapest back in the nineties, but I didn’t have anything like this. I’m certain I would remember, because these are really delicious (so don’t feel bad at all if you want to skip the homemade filling and use jam from the shops). And they hold up very well refrigerated, as I can assure you, since it takes us days for the two of us to get through an 8-inch pan. In fact, I wound up freezing the last couple of pieces before my husband and I went out of town for our anniversary this past weekend (nine years– what?!?), and they were perfect after they defrosted to room temp…even the powdered sugar on top was still intact!
For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan or read Lynette’s 1smallkitchen and Cher’s The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler… Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!