Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Hungarian Shortbread

May 1, 2012 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 20 Comments
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Hungarian shortbread

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!

Hungarian shortbread

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!


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  1. Happy Anniversary to both….yes they were tasty and like the way you doctored up the filling. As always, great photo. Xxoo

  2. it looks absolutely lovely!

  3. Yours look lovely! Glad to know they can be frozen. That’s incentive to make them again.

  4. Your shortbread looks great! I like the triangle shapes.

  5. nice to know you can freeze these and have them as treats later! 🙂 Might have to do that!

  6. Looks great!!

  7. Wow, does that look good! It takes linzer cookies to a next level.

  8. Funny, even though there are 2 of us, our are nearly gone. My husband devoured them! Love the plum cherry idea – I bet that was tasty!

  9. Your shortbread looks great. Congrats on 9 years!!

  10. Steph,

    Beautiful looking wedges….thanks for the info on freezing. Yes, I ended up with rawsies. But, it still tasted good. 🙂


  11. YUP, a whole pound of butter in one pan is quite scary…I had to go find helpers because I was eating too much of this dessert which is quite good, and I could see myself eating the whole thing within about 2 days…scary. I like your creativity…that top photo is especially fun.

  12. See… you were smart: you only baked the single layer for 20 minutes 🙂 Glad yours turned out well!

  13. Happy anniversary! Glad you enjoyed these. And good to know they freeze well!

  14. Haha! I avoided this recipe for over 12 years for the same reasons. Now, I am thinking I need to make another batch–they were that good! And, thanks to you, I know they freeze well. Happy anniversary!

  15. You had me at plum cherry jam…
    Happy anniversary & lovely pictures. Thanks for baking along this week.

  16. These look like the perfect treats for guests.

  17. Happy Belated Anniversary and they came out beautifully-love the slices and arrangement !

  18. Happy Anniversary Steph!

    That is so wonderful, and I’m really happy for you. Did you have fun on your trip? I’ve actually heard (wonderful things) about Blue Hill at Stone Barns- I hope you had lots of fun and spent some great quality time with the hubby.

    Your shortbread look, and sound absolutely delicious. I knew I had heard of a similar recipe that has been on my “must-make” list for a long time. I looked it up, and though it sounds nearly identical to your recipe (right down to grating the dough), it’s called Austrian (Raspberry) Shortbread. I wonder where this recipe actually originated. Regardless, I definitely plan on baking a batch soon 🙂

    Hope to hear from you soon! Have a great rest of your weekend!


  19. Happy Anniversary! Yours look gorgeous. I thought it was this week so I need to make these. 😦

  20. I love the wedges you cut this into – very pretty!

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