My husband, Jerry, and I aren’t much on desserts so I don’t make them very often. But I’m in a book club that meets monthly for coffee and dessert, and I get to host it about once a year. That’s when I like to try out new recipes; so far the girls in the book club have been very indulgent.
Months ago, Saveur, a food/travel magazine, had a recipe that looked interesting and easy. It’s called Hungarian Shortbread and filled with raspberry preserves. Since Jerry and I had brought back some killer raspberry preserves from vacation in Santa Fe last summer, I thought I’d try it.
As a matter of fact, I made the Hungarian Shortbread for dinner a few weeks before hosting my book club. It turned out so well I was confident the girls would like it.
If you just see this shortbread and don’t know how it’s made, you might think it has a streusel topping. This results from the dough being grated, which not only gives it a light texture, but a sort of pebbly appearance. Be warned that this takes a bit of “elbow grease” but I think it’s fun to make.
The recipe, according to Saveur, is based on one in Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan, published in 1996.
2 cups flour (plus a little more for dusting)
1 teaspoon baking powder
I /8 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter (plus more to grease pan), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup raspberry jam or preserves
Combine flour, baking powder and salt. (The recipe recommends sifting through a sieve.) Cream butter in an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and egg yolks and mix until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture; mix just until dough begins to come together, about 1 minute.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; bring together with your hands and divide in two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Place oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch to 10-inch springform pan. Remove dough from freezer, unwrap and grate, using large holes in a standing grater, directly into prepared pan. Gently pat grated dough to even it out.
Spread jam evenly over dough, leaving about a ½-inch border around edges. Grate remaining dough over jam layer; pat gently until surface is even.
Bake until light golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a rack, then loosen and remove rim of springform pan. Leaving shortbread on base of pan, cut into 8 to 10 wedges. Serve at room temperature: may be made ahead of time. Refrigerate leftovers for up to one week.
© 2008. 2015 Helen Austin. All rights reserved.
Would you like some creative ideas listed by month that can help you connect with your kids or grandkids? Check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart by Nancy Downing and Mary May Larmoyeux.