Dec 18, 2009

20 Days of Cookies - Day 16

Day 16: Hungarian Shortbread

I have a special fondness for this recipe considering I am half Hungarian. Let me tell you, it is not just the French who know how to put to use a good pound of butter, and this recipe is proof. Okay, so it's not an entire pound, but close. I had never made a dough using the shredding method - turns out it creates the most remarkable, tenderest crumb I've ever had. The first time I made this I did two batches, one blueberry jam and the other Nutella. This time around I think a bright red jam would be appropriate, such as raspberry, strawberry, or cherry. Plum would be great too if you can find it. Try to use one that is as all natural as possible, no corn syrup for instance.

2 cups of AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks butter, unsalted, uncultured if available and willing to splurge, softened
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 jam, flavor of your choice

• Sift or whisk flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
• Cream butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and egg yolks and mix until light and creamy, about 4 minutes. Slowly add in flour mixture on low until dough forms.
• Turn out dough onto floured surface, divide and form into two balls. Wrap in plastic and freeze up 30 minutes - 3 hours.
• Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Grease your baking pan (I use two oblong tart dishes, you could use anything really) with butter. Remove 1 dough ball at a time from the freezer. Using a box grater and the largest holes and begin grating first dough ball over baking dish. Gently pat dough down to even out. Spread jam over top leaving 1/2" border around edges. Grate second dough ball over jam and press down gently.
• Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting into wedges.

(Recipe adapted from Baking with Julie by Dorie Greenspan)

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