Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hungarian Shortbread~ BWJ

I am dieting. That short little statement has no business in this insanely rich and calorically dense dessert post. The good news, this diet runs for 6 days a week, and the 7th day I am allowed to go crazy and eat anything I want. That day is Saturday. It was always high on the list of favorite days, but now it has moved up to 'best day ever' status. It also means I plan ahead to what I am going to make on Saturdays. Wow, I feel like I'm breaking tradition here when I say I made this dessert in advance of posting Tuesday. Luckily it didn't have a superstitious negative effect on this.... this cookie-like, cake-like, blondie-like dessert. Perhaps I should try not procrastinating in other areas of my life. (I'm snickering in my head.)

I made them late Friday night and the smell was so yummy. Shortbread for sure. Not the Lorna Doone kind, or the Girl Scout kind, but somewhere near the buttery goodness of the Chessman kind. Uh, could that be because we used 4 sticks of butter in one dessert?! Ah well, another rich dessert for special occasions that the whole family really liked. That's not such a bad thing.

That question and answer section we have before baking the dessert is such a help to me. New to all these made from scratch techniques, I was more a Sandra Lee type gal in the dessert arena before starting this BWJ project. So the bakers who make theirs well in advance and post on their experience help me to avoid pitfalls I may have succumbed to due to lack of experience. When the lady from Hungary posted the bottom was always baked first in their country after so many posts about uncooked dough, I took the advice of others and baked the bottom layer of shortbread for 20 minutes. What I did not do was follow the recipe's instructions on freezing and grating the dough. Sounding like a monumental task, I skipped it and just spread the dough in my 9x13 ungreased pan. Because why would you need to grease a pan that has contents with 4 sticks of butter? I'm always looking for the faster, easier way, without sacrificing flavor. Perhaps it's why I got a cakier, blondie like version and not a crumbly shortbread like crumb. But it sounded like many who did follow those instructions got the same thing.

Since this dessert was made to be eaten on Cinco de Mayo, half of the shortbread base was spread with guava preserves, and on the other half I used raspberry preserves. The raspberry edges out the guava by a hair, but both were good. Then I decided maybe I wasn't playing by the rules enough and became my own shredder for the top layer. I took bits of dough and chucked them onto the top. I suppose maybe the top layer was more airy than the bottom layer, but if so, not by much. They both tasted the same to me.

I baked the shortbread for another 40 minutes. Although everything was cooked through, the jelly gave it a bit of a gooey texture in the middle. I wonder if that was why some people likened it to uncooked cookie dough? Other than baking the bottom, cutting out the dough shredding, and leaving off the powdered sugar since I had used sweet fillings instead of tart, my recipe is the same as the recipes found here , Cher is a wonderful blogger whom I enjoy reading and takes the time to comment on many of our posts, and Lynette's can be found here.

Big Side Note: And now I am seriously laughing at myself after posting my link. I thought I was getting this done EARLY, and it turns out I'm a week late. The 8th felt like more of a date we would have used than the 1st, obviously I didn't even check. Lovely. The procrastinator is still in the house!


  1. Awww - it wasn't you... At one point, the date for this post was announced for May 8th :-)

    I like the "best day ever" status.

    Great shortbread & thanks for baking along this (last) week.

  2. Great job on the shortbread! Wasn't it amazing? Thanks for the suggestion of using the salted caramel. I happen to have some homemade in my fridge :) This weekend I'll give it a try!