TwD: Baking Hungarian Shortbread with Julia

Happy May Day! Our TwD assignment for today was this simple Hungarian shortbread. The recipe required us to freeze the dough and then grate it into our baking pan, producing a very light and fluffy shortbread, almost cake-like. I’ve actually used this method before when I made Bon Appetit’s peanut butter & jelly shortbread wedges.

I’m not completely sure why this recipe is Hungarian, but one comment on the P&Q’s indicated that Hungarian shortbread is completely baked through, and then the top and bottom layers are stuck together with jam. I didn’t go that far, but I did pre-bake the bottom layer by itself for 20 minutes. After, I spooned alternating rows of blackberry jam and apricot-pineapple jam on the pre-baked bottom layer, grated on the top layer of dough, and baked for an additional 40 minutes. I found the jam combo rather delicious, especially with the generous dusting of powdered sugar on top!

To view the recipe for Hungarian shortbread from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking with Julia” cookbook, check out this week’s host pages: fellow ffwD member Cher at The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler or Lynette of 1smallkitchen.

84 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Baker Street (@bakerstreet29)
    May 01, 2012 @ 00:10:25

    That’s actually a very interesting method. I’ve never tried grating the dough for bars. I’d surely love to give these give these a try. Blackberry and apricot seems like the perfect choice. 🙂

  2. baker in disguise
    May 01, 2012 @ 00:58:47

    A jam combo… wow.. thats quite a cool idea… if i make these the next time… i ‘ll remember that!!

  3. Anita Menon
    May 01, 2012 @ 01:13:20

    Very interesting method indeed. Looks sumptuous too.

  4. Garden Correspondent
    May 01, 2012 @ 01:56:23

    This looks completely outrageously good. I’ve never heard of grating shortbread dough- I’ll try it.

  5. filingawaycupcakes
    May 01, 2012 @ 03:04:16

    This looks great! What do you mean, grated the top layer?

  6. Choc Chip Uru
    May 01, 2012 @ 03:16:41

    This Hungarian shortbread looks beautiful 🙂
    I love how different it is to the traditional style!

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. Ckay
    May 01, 2012 @ 03:50:21

    Delicious Shortbread – lovely pictures!
    I’ve made some little changes to save on fat and Kcal and was still delicious!
    Greetings from Switzerland.

  8. mireia
    May 01, 2012 @ 04:49:48

    Looks really good, I would have never thought of baking them separately!!!!

  9. TrafficDiva
    May 01, 2012 @ 05:34:19

    I totally thought about your PB&J squares when I saw this, too! Hahaha! I also agree with the fellow posters….it’s the method in which you used to make these treats (not to mention the yummy jams!) that is so intriguing. I wonder if any frozen dough could be used in this manner to make, say, a savory dish?! Hope that gives you more YUMMMY ideas..LOL!!! =)

  10. Inger Wilkerson
    May 01, 2012 @ 05:58:38

    So pretty with the crumb-like topping–and they look delicious!

  11. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    May 01, 2012 @ 06:32:46

    Fruity, crumby goodness!

  12. smarkies
    May 01, 2012 @ 06:36:35

    interesting alternating the fillings… looks delish!

  13. Norma Chang
    May 01, 2012 @ 06:53:27

    Interesting baking method, learning about it for the first time. Like your blackberry jam and apricot-pineapple jam combo.

  14. Cher
    May 01, 2012 @ 07:16:50

    I like your filling choices – they both sound really tasty. The blackberry adds a nice pop of color, too!
    Great job & see you Friday 🙂

  15. kitchen flavours
    May 01, 2012 @ 07:20:40

    I love shortbread and this looks delicious, really good with the jam!

  16. Hindy
    May 01, 2012 @ 07:55:28

    Yours look delicious!

  17. Mary Hirsch
    May 01, 2012 @ 08:04:00

    So NOW you tell me. I didn’t think my bottom shredded layer of crust was baked long enough but the rest of the pastry certainly was. Next time I bake these, and I certainly will, I plan to bake the bottom layer 20 minutes before adding the filling and top layer. Ahhhhhhh Brilliant. Was this a technique in the PB&J Bars from Bon Appetit? I still loved this bars and will make a few subtle changes for Christmas.

  18. hotlyspiced
    May 01, 2012 @ 08:23:08

    That looks so delicious. I love shortbread and I think rhubarb would go so well with the sweetness of the shortbread. Lovely photo xx

  19. Alice
    May 01, 2012 @ 08:23:26

    it sounds like you really went to town on this one! sounds lovely!

  20. Kathy
    May 01, 2012 @ 08:26:10

    Your bars look wonderfully delicious! I have never heard of grating dough before…I worried about whether or not I should pre-bake the first layer and chose not to. My bottom layer was definitely baked but not cake like…totally yummy! Happy May Day!

  21. saffronandhoney
    May 01, 2012 @ 08:50:41

    These look amazing! And I love the jams you used.

  22. Louanne Bertrand
    May 01, 2012 @ 09:03:22

    Oooh, these look marvelous! Wish I had a slice to go with my coffee…haven’t had breakfast, and I know this would be a perfect treat. Love anything blackberry…

  23. Lisa {smart food and fit} (@LisaNutrition)
    May 01, 2012 @ 09:03:57

    I too have never heard of grating dough but the result look wonderful. Great idea on alternating jams!

  24. Life is Full
    May 01, 2012 @ 09:09:51

    Your shortbread looks terrific! Apricot-pineapple jam sounds delicious too!

  25. cooking-varieties (wan)
    May 01, 2012 @ 11:28:10

    hi yummy chunklet, looks pretty and cool . i have never tried doing this before…
    have a nice day

  26. loavesandstitches
    May 01, 2012 @ 13:56:20

    Ooh, I love having the two different flavors in one bar. What a fun idea! These were really good, weren’t they?

  27. Ei
    May 01, 2012 @ 13:57:27


  28. Kristin
    May 01, 2012 @ 14:04:31

    My little man would definitely love those!

  29. Betty
    May 01, 2012 @ 15:00:08

    These look so good! I love the two different jam flavors. That way there’s something for everyone. 🙂 I’ve never used that method before, but it sounds like it would make a tender bar.

  30. Amanda
    May 01, 2012 @ 15:15:18

    This looks perfect!!!

  31. steph (whisk/spoon)
    May 01, 2012 @ 15:50:50

    happy may day! i also prebaked the bottom, and think it was a good call. i like your jam combo, and the two colors peeking out between the layers looks really pretty.

  32. Karen
    May 01, 2012 @ 16:02:59

    The shortbread looks like it would literally melt in your mouth.

  33. Liz Berg (@ThatSkinnyChick)
    May 01, 2012 @ 16:17:15

    Oh, I LOVE your jam selections…and your bars are gorgeous!!!

  34. Simply Life
    May 01, 2012 @ 19:44:07

    mmm…I’m sure with the jam this has such a great flavor and texture!

  35. Necessity is the Mother of Invention
    May 01, 2012 @ 20:58:51

    Your jam looks so Jammy! My layer was paler, less robust, I suppose. Maybe I should have layered it on thicker. Anyway, lovely photos.

  36. ohfishiee
    May 01, 2012 @ 22:09:05

    very light and delicious there! 🙂 I’d love the layers like this

    Latest: More than BIG Breakfast

  37. Krissy
    May 01, 2012 @ 22:34:04

    The first thing about your post to catch my eye is your wonderful jam layer…looks sweet and gooey and wonderful! And after looking at other blogs, I note that I need more powdered sugar on mine…I’ll go fix that right now as I have a few pieces remaining for my midnight snack.

  38. atasteofmadess
    May 01, 2012 @ 23:10:12

    I can’t even believe how good this looks! Wow!

  39. vianney
    May 01, 2012 @ 23:28:58

    sweet,gooey and delish!! yum

  40. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    May 02, 2012 @ 01:10:42

    Thanks for explaining about the difference between regular one and Hungarian shortbread – I was thinking what makes it “Hungarian”. 🙂 Looking delicious!

  41. Elaine
    May 02, 2012 @ 02:03:44

    Alternating rows of jam is a great idea. Your bars are lovely.

  42. Trae C
    May 02, 2012 @ 02:39:46

    Oh my goodness. Now I’m drooling. Is it too late tonight to start making these?

  43. machisan
    May 02, 2012 @ 04:45:18

    This is such a great flavor

  44. ceciliag
    May 02, 2012 @ 07:26:18

    how unusual and how fabulous, with jam as well.. this is a very lovely slice! c

  45. Baking is my Zen
    May 02, 2012 @ 07:28:03

  46. Shannon - Healthiful Balance
    May 02, 2012 @ 07:53:41

    Mhmm, this shortbread looks fantastic! I would love to take a bite out of it right now! 🙂

  47. Katerina
    May 02, 2012 @ 08:44:56

    Lovely slices of shortbread! Mouthwatering and the pictures are perfect!

  48. sanyaliving
    May 02, 2012 @ 08:51:56

    Looks gorgeous! Love the jam combinations!

  49. andiperullo
    May 02, 2012 @ 09:20:37

    Oh wow I’m drooling!!! 🙂

  50. Jessica Maher (@kbelleicious)
    May 02, 2012 @ 09:36:21

    awesome result and very cool technique of doing them. Never would have done it that way but you bet I will now!

  51. Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking
    May 02, 2012 @ 10:03:52

    This looks so lovely. What a great recipe!

  52. Jana
    May 02, 2012 @ 10:41:35

    Simplemente fantásticos 🙂
    Un besito ^^

  53. guineapigfood
    May 02, 2012 @ 10:54:20

    Love the combo-jam idea!

  54. The Double Trouble Kitchen
    May 02, 2012 @ 10:56:56

    Yummy looking! Love the blackberry jam addition, and it shows up nicely in the photo.

  55. Jenn
    May 02, 2012 @ 11:10:03

    Now I will definitely try the PB&J shortbread, sounds like something my kiddos would LOVE!

  56. profiterolesandponytails
    May 02, 2012 @ 11:32:05

    This looks like it would be very kid-friendly, school-friendly (i.e, no nuts) and travel well in a lunch bag. I’m sure my girls would love them.

  57. heathersbytes
    May 02, 2012 @ 14:44:14

    I love your idea of alternating the jams! I did all blackberry, which was delicious, but a mix-up sounds great!

  58. Trackback: Happy birthday Kaya! « Garden Correspondent
  59. eatinglikeahorse
    May 02, 2012 @ 15:58:34

    I love shortbread but adding jam sounds like a definite winner! I’m intrigued by the idea of freezing and grating the dough; I might have to try that one 🙂

  60. sally
    May 02, 2012 @ 17:04:14

    I’m not sure why the are called Hungarian shortbread either, but they look delicious!

  61. RebeccaSubbiah RD (@chowandchatter)
    May 02, 2012 @ 21:59:23

    looks like short bread perfected

  62. Ameena
    May 02, 2012 @ 22:03:00

    I love that you consider this “simple!” It looks fabulous…so envious of your baking skills!

  63. Dolly
    May 03, 2012 @ 04:24:11

    those shortbread with my french earl grey would be the perfect treat!

  64. Cakelaw
    May 03, 2012 @ 04:54:53

    I love the appearace of all of that marvellous jam peeking out of your shortbread – devine! Great flavour choices too.

  65. muppy
    May 03, 2012 @ 05:14:49

    what an interesting recipe, looks amazing.

  66. Ryan
    May 03, 2012 @ 08:21:08

    These look so good and I agree that the combo of the 2 jam flavors sound excellent together! I’ve never heard of that method of grating the shortbread- so interesting. I love learning new techniques like that for baking!

  67. Gretchen @ Provecho Peru
    May 03, 2012 @ 09:56:55

    Love that you did alternating flavors! What a great idea!

  68. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
    May 03, 2012 @ 11:49:18

    Blackberry and apricot… oh my, what a divine combination!

  69. jora
    May 03, 2012 @ 12:13:33

    I was wondering if I should have pre-baked the bottom crust. Glad to know it worked out! Both of your jam flavors sound excellent (I’ve never heard of apricot-pineapple) and they sound even better together!

  70. Dara
    May 03, 2012 @ 12:50:45

    These look so amazing – I love the jams. Great post.

  71. andi
    May 03, 2012 @ 14:15:19

    The shortbread look like a mouthful of yummy goodness……..nice photo andi

  72. maha
    May 03, 2012 @ 14:54:30

    Woww… delicious and tempting recipe.. looks absolutely inviting.. thanks for sharing !!

  73. LV Davis (@FoodfashinFlow)
    May 03, 2012 @ 16:57:52

    My son would love this! These look scrumptious!

  74. Beth
    May 03, 2012 @ 21:10:10

    This sounds terrific. I love jammy desserts!

  75. Bam's Kitchen
    May 03, 2012 @ 22:57:31

    I love jammy bars. I know it is still a dessert but somehow in my mind I feel like I am not being really bad as there is not any chocolate in site. This so could be a breakfast food….

  76. Maureen (@OrgasmicChef)
    May 04, 2012 @ 05:36:48

    I SO want to make this one. Looks delicious!

  77. Cathleen
    May 04, 2012 @ 09:43:07

    Looks fabulous!

  78. Helene (@MasalaHerb)
    May 04, 2012 @ 10:03:56

    thats one of those cakes we had to know by heart in college. its austrian/hungarian and I believe the late empress Sissi used to order those in masses. yeah.. she had taste…

  79. Asmita (@FoodieAsmita)
    May 06, 2012 @ 10:55:18

    Gorgeous shortbread!

  80. Kanan
    May 06, 2012 @ 17:47:32

    They look fantastic. Love it.

  81. Terra Baltosiewich (@CafeTerraBlog)
    May 07, 2012 @ 22:11:06

    Hungarian or not, sounds pretty fantastic to me! Hugs, Terra

  82. Mary
    May 08, 2012 @ 11:14:53

    I love this recipe, but I’ve never strayed from rhubarb jam, as I’m completely addicted to rhubarb! Glad you liked it, and your jam combo does sound delicious, though I’ll have to wait till rhubarb season is over to find out!

  83. Just A Smidgen
    May 08, 2012 @ 23:07:04

    This looks fantastic! I’ve never heard of that technique, I can only imagine how fluffy and light it made your Shortbread!! xo Smidge

  84. Erin E
    May 16, 2012 @ 10:23:04

    I love the idea of combining the jams! Looks great!

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