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.
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.