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….


  1. We are really enjoying the shortbread here too. It was a nice change to not have chocolate, since last week we had double chocolate chip cookies in the house. I think you're right, 1/2 cup of jam wasn't nearly enough. Your shortbread looks delicious with that nice thick layer of jam in the middle.

  2. I agree, most desserts should contain chocolate but I do like shortbread. It's the butter! These were delicious I'll make them again.

  3. Looks good! I too had to use more jam than the recipe called for. I made a cranberry jam and was hoping to have some for our toast in the morning - didn't happen - used it all on the shortbread.

  4. Your shortbread looks great! I'm glad you liked it.

  5. THese were well enjoyed in our house too. I made mine in 8" round pans and didn't need to parbake at all.
    Great job! Thanks for baking along this week.

  6. Looks just wonderful...fun to find that you like something you didn't think you would, right? We also loved these a lot. Fun to learn new techniques. I had no problems at all...mine baked 15 minutes longer b/c I wanted it to have a certain crunch, color, and doneness. It was perfect. One thing I have leaned in 4 years with TWD...rarely, if ever, do I go to the comments and listen to any of the advice...I usually trust the recipe writers and rarely, if ever, have been disappointed. HOWEVER, that said, I will benefit from that NM recipe with the cocoa measurement that you wrote about, thanks in advance for that!

  7. like....................................