Tuesday, May 01, 2012

TWD: Hungarian Shortbread

This recipe appeals on SO many levels.  First of all, there are only six ingredients to the shortbread.  It is rich, buttery, crumbly, and smells amazing when it's baking.  Second, you fill the middle with a rhubarb jam.  Rhubarb.  I have long documented my love of all things rhubarb.  This falls firmly into the WIN column.

The recipe was originally baked with Julia by Gale Gand.  She is a wonderful pastry chef who happens to live a couple of towns over from me.  I've had the very good fortune to see her bake in person and to enjoy her treats at one of her Chicago restaurants.  

April is birthday month around here, so there has been a lot of cake baking.  (Look for that in another post ;-)  I wasn't sure I was going to get to this one.  Then I re-read the recipe and realized how simple it was.  I did end up making a few modifications in the name of time saving.  First, I cut the recipe into fourths.  We have cake, cupcakes, cookies, and more cupcakes already in the kitchen.  I didn't want to pass this up, but I didn't need a whole pan.  I initially was going to make this in my 6" square pan.  As I was reaching into my cabinet, I noticed my 3 - 3" round pans.  Oooh, this could be good.  

The dough came together in a snap.  As I finished blending in the flour, I couldn't help but notice that the dough was in lots of small crumbles.  Hmmm.  Instead of squishing them together, freezing the dough, and then grating it, I covered the bowl and put it in the fridge to chill.  An hour later, I greased my mini pans, crumbled in some of the crumbles, and did a 10 minute pre-bake.  (Some of the other bakers commented that the bottom layer didn't always bake through to the shortbread texture that they were after and a pre-bake helped with that.)

Lucky for me, I usually have some rhubarb compote or jam in my fridge.  That went on top of shortbread #1.  #2 got a layer of Scotch marmalade.  #3 was filled with orange/vanilla marmalade that I made over the winter.  The rest of the dough was crumbled on top and they went back into the oven.  


Tah dah!  Three mini shortbreads!
Those crispy brown edges are calling to me.

This little baby shortbread just begging to be eaten.  Which we haven't done yet because I made these too close to dinner. 
These are very good.  The best bite, as voted on by the family, was the rhubarb/berry version.  The orange/vanilla version came in second.  The scotch marmalade was a bit much for all of us - even the scotch drinker.  I could so easily see making these in a mini-muffin tin for a bite-sized treat.  If you'd like the recipe, go check out Lynette at 1smallkitchen or Cher at The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler...

23 comments:

Dawn said...

Awesome idea to use your mini tart pans! Your tarts look delicious, Jules.

baker in disguise said...

am always amazed when people try out differnt versions.. and you tried out 3 versions.. amazing!!!

Rebecca said...

Adorable! Brilliant to make the mini versions. I loved these.

pinkstripes said...

YOur mini tart shorbreads look yummy. Love the variations.

loavesandstitches said...

Love the mini version! More crust is always better, in my opinion. They look great!

Karen said...

Gotta love the minis! Especially in a birthday month! Looks like they turned out perfectly! :)

Amanda said...

the mini muffin pan is a great idea but these look great too! And what a go-getter doing three versions! They all sound amazing.

Miette said...

Great idea to just chill the dough- I had the same thought but did the freezing/grating which worked out well but took more time. Will definitely make this again.

marilyn said...

you're right. those browned crusts are beckoning!

ovenchaos said...

I also ended up chilling the dough overnight instead of freezing it. The picture with the 3 triangles with different fillings is just too cute!

Cher Rockwell said...

Oooh, little baby shortbread :-)
I am right there with you on the rhubarb - my parents started feeding it to me as soon as I had teeth and I have always seemed to have a taste for it.
They look great -I hope you enjoy them!

Cher Rockwell said...

Oooh, little baby shortbread :-)
I am right there with you on the rhubarb - my parents started feeding it to me as soon as I had teeth and I have always seemed to have a taste for it.
They look great -I hope you enjoy them!

spike said...

all your versions sound pretty tempting

Betsy said...

Those mini-shortbreads are delightful. That way you could sample more jam flavors.

Elaine said...

I like that you made three different mini versions. That scotch marmalade sounds intriguing.

sanyaliving.com said...

Very cute!

Nicole Marsh said...

Oh the edges are the best!

Saira said...

Lovely Shortbread :-)

Mary Hirsch said...

Yes, I like those crusty brown edges also. Wasn't it fun to have three different bars to taste test? I like your small round pans. They were cute little buggers but weren't they rich. Mine got sent to the freezer......quickly.

Cathleen said...

I love the idea of mini muffin size! All three versions sound wonderful and look fab.

Kayte said...

Those are so cute...you did a great job as those look just lovely inside and out. April is birthday month here as well...and yes, it was very nice. I need to stop celebrating soon since it is May now. Maybe next week. Hippo Birdies to the Birthday Crew there! xo

Di said...

I haven't made this recipe yet, and I am totally stealing your idea to just chill the crumbly dough instead of messing with grating it! Your little shortbreads are so cute, and it's always fun to compare different flavors. =)

Teresa said...

I love what you did with this! It would have been fun to have a taste of each on the plate. We loved these, too. The tartness of the rhubarb was perfect with the sweetness of the shortbread.