Posted by: Patty | May 1, 2012

TWD: HUNGARIAN SHORTBREAD

This week, Tuesdays with Dorie features Gail Gale, a great pastry chef, cookbook author and TV personality. When we lived in Chicago we loved going to the restaurants Gand and her husband owned. Alas, they divorced but Gand continued to work in restaurants and write cookbooks. Her “butter, sugar, flour, eggs” is one of my favortites. That book has the best bread pudding recipe ever. But, included in that cookbook is the recipe for Hungarian Shortbread. I tried it way back in 1999 and the result was a soggy mess of undercooked dough and jam. Yuck. Here are the updated approaches to this recipe: So, I was very happy to discover that the bakers of TWD had some solutions. First, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe: I used 1-3/4 cups instead of 2 cups.

Second, pre-bake the bottom crust: I baked it for 15 minutes. After baking you will layer the jam and remaining grated dough. This is the final cooked pan of shortbread. Third: use your food processor to grate the frozen dough. I froze the dough in pieces that would fit into my processor. Then you grate the dough and put half in the baking pan. FYI I froze the dough for 45 minutes, not the 2 hours indicated in the recipe. This is the point that many people have a problem: the bottom never cooks if you assemble the whole cookie now. Instead: grate one half of the dough, put it in the pan, and pre-bake the bottom for 15 minutes. Then add the jam and top layer. Here is the dough that has been cooked for 15 minutes. You spread your jam on the cooked dough and then cover it with the remaning grated dough. Now the cookies will bake for another 35-40 minutes. Instead of confectioners sugar as a topping, I used sparkling sugar to finish the cookies. The final cookies are very tasty, crunchy and buttery at the same time. These won’t keep well, the jam in the center softens the cookie. Scottish shortbread is so much easier to make but this cookie is more complex. If fancy is what you want, this cookie delivers great taste and appearance. Please visit our hosts for the week to see the full recipe: Dabbler and 1small kitchen Cheers to all, Patty

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Responses

  1. Sparkling sugar is a nice addition – some folks had trouble with their icing sugar melting, so this is a good solution. We really loved these and the P&Q section came in handy for making them successfully, too.

  2. It is interesting to see the differences between the original recipe and this one.
    Your shortbread look great – thanks for baking along this week.

  3. As always, you amaze me. I miss our lunches at Brasserie T!

    • Great to hear from you. Lunches with you and the gang were lots of fun.

    • I too miss both of you and our lunches at Brasserie T.

  4. This was a winner at our home. I also prebaked the bottom crust. I like the idea of the sparkling sugar–great idea.

  5. I thought these were great with tea as well! I love your teapot!

  6. These look really lovely! Great job!

  7. your tea kettle is exactly the one my friend wants!! :) your bars look great!

    • The tea kettle is sold at Teaism in Washington DC. I’m sure they would mail one if your friend really wants one. Your substitution of brown sugar sounds like a tasty idea.

  8. Using the food processor was a great idea! Nice job with the shortbread!

    • Yours look delicious.

  9. Looks great! I used all the engridients but found that it had too much butter. Either way It tastes good doesn’t it? good fot an afternoon reunion!

    • With this much butter, these are a treat rather than an everyday snack!

  10. Delicious recipe!
    I loved them, too and will bake them again.

    • Thanks for visiting. Your blog is fantastic.


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