Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TWD -- Hungarian Shorbread

My first decision when I looked at the Hungarian Shortbread recipe in "Baking with Julia" for the Internet baking group Tuesday with Dorie was this: Did I really want to make the whole entire recipe? That pound of butter was rather daunting. What if I didn't like it? So, I decided to cut the recipe in half and make it in an 8-inch square pan.

I then needed to decide if I wanted to make the rhubarb filling or substitute for something else. We have a rhubarb patch in the yard, but then I reasoned that some people don't like rhubarb, and we happened to have several jars of homemade blueberry jam on the shelf made last summer from home-grown blueberres. So, I settled on blueberries.

With those decisions behind me, I started creaming the butter. I would like to make a pitch here for the Kitchen Aid paddle beater that has a rubber scraper attached to one side. This all but eliminates having to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. A friend recommended this attachment to me, and her advice was right on. For anyone who makes a lot of cookies or cakes, this beater can't be beat!

There were no quirks in the recipe, and the batter went together like most shortbread batters. I froze the dough into two balls, and after the 30 minutes of freezing, started grating the first ball using the largest hole on my box grater. I debated whether to grease the pan, but since the recipe didn't indicate one should, I didn't. I later came to regret that as the combination of shortbread dough and blueberry jam tended to stick to the sides of the pan.

I baked the shortbread on the short end of the time suggested, since I had cut down the pan size. That seemed to work out well. I then piled on the confectioner's sugar, something I realized after cutting the bars that I had overdone. But the first time one makes anything is a learning experience.

Once the bars cooled, my husband and I sampled one. Both of us loved the combination of shortbread, blueberries and confectioner's sugar. I cut the bars into 16 portions, which were plenty large. Would I make them again? Yes, without a doubt, but perhaps I would next try strawberry or raspberry jam. I still have reservations about rhubarb.


  1. I debated on making a whole or half recipe of this one as well. (and I totally agree about the KA attachment with the rubber scraper - it definitely makes things easier).
    It looks very tasty :-)

  2. I love the idea of blueberry jam. Looks delicious!

  3. I did half the recipe also. The blueberry jam is a great contrast of colors!

  4. I did half the recipe as well. Just in case, you know. But I really enjoyed it. The blueberry layer has such great color - lovely idea!

  5. I was debating the half recipe but ended up doing a whole. They were delicious but I'm sure I don't really need the whole pan in my house!