Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hungarian Shortbread: BWJ

I was quite bummed that I missed making the Lemon Loaf Cake two weeks ago, but I was up for the Hungarian Shortbread this week, (having a little help from Mom).

I don't make shortbread around here very often.  The Apricot Almond Shortbread Squares I make are quite scrumptious, but I know they're not particularly good for the waistline, not that I have very much trouble in that department, but with hubby it's a different story.  So I try to keep shortbread making to a minimum.

The recipe for the Hungarian Shortbread that we made for Baking With Julia this week can be found on page 327 of the book. The book is definitely accurate when it says nothing gets much simpler than making these Hungarian Shortbread bars.  I think it is brilliant that the dough is stuck in the freezer for 30 minutes and then grated on the largest holes of a box grater to get the top and bottom layers for the shortbread.  No fussing w/ sticky dough here,  ...... although you do have to get the dough out of the mixer bowl, divide it into two equal parts and get it wrapped up in plastic to put into the freezer.

I decided to cut the recipe in half since I wasn't going anywhere that required bringing a dessert and I really didn't want to freeze a whole 9X12 pan of shortbread.  I made my shortbread in a 9X9 pan, and when it was done hubby and I took half and the other half of the shortbread went home with my mom and dad.
My mom is a little shy and didn't want her picture taken, but I did get a little bit of her hands in the picture grating the dough for me on my OXO box grater, while I readied the pan.  My piece of parchment was a bit crooked and didn't fit perfectly, but it worked out OK for our purposes.  My mom grated the first ball of dough from the freezer, we spread the dough out into the pan, and pressed it down gently into the corners and all around.  I baked the first layer of the shortbread at 350° for 10 minutes. (This was a slight deviation from the recipe.  In the book you are to bake both layers of the shortbread at the same time)  Out of the oven it came, and next, I spread about 3/4 cup of Blueberry-Peach Jam over top of our first shortbread layer.
I really wanted to make the rhubarb jam described in the recipe, but when I checked at Whole Foods they didn't have any fresh rhubarb and didn't have any idea when they might get some.  I'll have to save that for another time.  After spreading the jam around over the partially baked bottom layer, mom and I spread around the rest of the grated dough over top of the jam and gently patted this down just like the first layer.  Then into the oven it went for the final baking.  I believe it stayed in the oven for the full 30 minutes this second time and it was perfectly browned when it came out.
Mmmmm, it smelled good and we were pleased w/ our work!  Dad, Mom and I all had to sample a piece right away just to make sure it was good enough for hubby to eat when he got home from work.  (It was cooled first in the pan for ~ 45 minutes and then in the fridge for ~ 15 minutes.)

It was deeeee-licious!!!  How could it not be though, with all that butter in it  :) It was firm all the way thru, but I wouldn't say it was crunchy, just nice and firm.  I did dust it w/ confectioners sugar, but I didn't dump as much on as they indicated in the book.  I thought the shortbread was sweet enough without too much extra added sugar.

Later that same afternoon I sat down to relax and enjoy just one more piece with a nice, hot cup of my favorite apple-banana tea.
Moms and Dads are so wonderful to have around.  I'm so grateful that my parents could visit, help me to make this recipe and they also brought us lots of food and helped w/ some of the housework that I've not been able to do.  Thank you so much!!!!!!

The hosts for this weeks recipe were Lynette of 1 Small Kitchen and Cher of The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler ,so if you're interested in making this recipe you will find it this week at either one of these blogs.  I encourage you to visit them, to see how their Hungarian Shortbread turned out in any case.  Thank you so much for hosting this week Lynette and Cher!

Also, you can go here, to check out other Hungarian Shorbread posts.


  1. You have a wonderful way of writing and reading your posts is a pleasure!
    Your cake looks delicious. I love this recipe and
    I could reduce sugar and fat in it and it was still perfect.
    Greetings from Switzerland

  2. I also halved the recipe. So nice you had your parents with you! I agree this is delicious.

  3. So nice to have your parents around to visit and help! We loved this one, too! :)

  4. Ooohh, these look lovely! I love that you have a dark layer in the middle. Great job!

  5. Your bars look delicious! It sounds like you have a very lovely visit with your parents :D

  6. How nice that you were able to make these with your parents :-)
    Your cookies look lovely - the blueberry peach jelly stands out as a layer.
    Thanks for baking along this week

  7. It's lovely that your parents were able to help you with this recipe - and to take some of the squares off your hands, too! Yours turned out beautifully.