Hungarian Shortbread

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Our Tuesdays with Dorrie recipe, Hungarian Shortbread, was a big hit in our house.  We are all trying to watch our weight and are trying to eliminate dairy as much as possible.  This recipe calls for a whole pound of butter!  Yes, you read correctly- 4 sticks of butter – and at first I considered either not baking it or using a substitute for the butter.  (If anyone reading this has some good alternatives to butter, please let me know!)  Well, I decided that I wanted to be true to the recipe, so I bit the butter bullet and followed the recipe’s ingredients exactly. It was worth it!!  To find this decadent recipe in its entirety, please check out this week’s hosts Lynette (One Small Kitchen) and Cher (The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler). It can also be found in the book Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan where you can find the recipe on pages 327-328.

This recipe calls a layer of rhubarb jam spread between two layers of grated dough. The rhubarb jam was simple to prepare and created a wonderful aroma in the house.  I was getting psyched to make the dough.


The dough was also simple to prepare. Dry ingredients were whisked together.

Our pound of butter was beaten until fluffy and then egg yolks and sugar were added to the mix.

The dry ingredients were slowly incorporated, and then the dough was turned out onto a work surface, divided in half, and the two balls were then wrapped in plastic and frozen.

The recipe called for a brilliant technique of chilling the dough in the freezer and then grating it directly into the 9 x 12-inch pan.  It was not easy at first grating the dough with my box grater, but as the dough warmed up a bit in my hand, it got easier and was kind of fun.

[Note: The dough should be frozen for thirty minutes. If longer, such as overnight, just let the dough thaw a bit in the freezer. My dough was in the freezer for about 4 hours.]

I took the advice from some of the other bakers in our group.  I lined the pan with parchment paper, and then baked the first layer of grated dough for 15 minutes before spreading on the room temperature rhubarb jam. Then a second layer of grated dough is lightly distributed over the rhubarb layer.


Bake the shortbread in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as it is removed from the oven, dust the top with a liberal amount of confectioner’s sugar.

Cool completely before cutting the shortbread into bars.

These shortbread cookies looked so professional and tasted divine!  Buttery flavor, crumbly texture, and great with a cup of coffee, of course!

My son is graduating from college this weekend.  I am so proud of him and excited for him to begin his life journey!  I froze half of the bars so that they would be perfect for him when he gets home.  I am happy that he will be here to share the wealth of the goodies that will be baked in the next few months before he heads off to graduate school.  (P.S. Happy Birthday Jesse!)

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