Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Hungarian shortbread (TWD: BwJ)
Our first May TWD recipe is Hungarian shortbread, a recipe from Gale Gand.
In general, I'm not interested in desserts (especially cookies) unless there is a strong chocolate presence. Every once in a while, an almond flavor will suffice. But a butter cookie with jam filling? Meh. So imagine my surprise when I absolutely 100% loved these cookies!!
I made a half-batch in an 8x8 pan. The shortbread itself was easy to throw together in the mixer: flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, egg yolks, and sugar. The dough is then wrapped in plastic and chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes before being shredded into the pan on the large holes of a box grater. I had a few questions as I got ready to assemble and bake the cookies: should I butter the pan? The recipe didn't call for it, but that seemed weird to me, and several of the places online where this recipe is printed call for buttering the pan. In the end, I did. And several of the people on the Ps&Qs for this recipe mentioned prebaking the bottom crust or it wouldn't fully bake; should I? I ended up putting the bottom part of the crust in the oven for about 5 minutes while I prepared the jam; and then I baked the cookies for 45 minutes to get the top golden. The bottom was much more done than the top; next time, I'd probably skip the prebaking stage altogether.
If I'd filled these with the rhubarb jam called for, it'd be a sure bet that no one would eat them, so I used the last bit from a jar of store-bought mixed berry preserves and part of last summer's strawberry jam. I first used the 1/2 cup of jam called for (I was making a half-recipe), but it didn't seem like nearly enough, so I ended up using quite a bit more (probably a cup total for the half-recipe).
As I said, I was shocked by how much I loved these: sweet, crunchy, buttery, with a bright hint from the jam. Delicious!
Check out all of the other TWDers' shortbreads here: and please visit our hosts' pages to see the recipe: Lynette of 1smallkitchen and Cher of The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler….