Hungarian shortbread – after reading the recipe, something I’ve learned to do with every Baking with Julia recipe, these biscuits sounded like the “jam biscuits” my sister loves that were a regular feature in our home growing up. A layer of jam sandwiched between dough and baked – simple and delicious.
I don’t recall our childhood recipe at all, though I’m sure my sister knows, but based on my memory of “jam biscuits” and the great number of this shortbread that I ate, I would have to say that although the concept is similar, the biscuits are quite different.
The biscuit part of this Hungarian shortbread is exactly as the recipe describes – buttery and sandy in texture, while I remember the biscuits of my childhood having a smoother texture. Both, however, have the ability to make me feel rather sick after a few too many, down to that buttery flavour I suspect ;-) I also found the shortbread to be quite crumbly, in keeping with the sandy texture, while “jam biscuits” weren’t if I recall.
The other thing the recipe claims about the Hungarian shortbread is that they come together easily and with no fuss – I agree completely, I loved making these! Quite possibly because I got to haul out my Kenwood mixer, who has been staring quietly at me from the corner of the kitchen for weeks, willing me to bake something. I had such a fun Sunday morning baking and I even used the left over egg whites from the recipe to try my hand at meringues, using the Baking with Julia recipe – first time ever and I think fairly successful!
The one thing I did do differently was the jam, I cheated and used a store bought whole berry preserve – not one I’ve tried before and a wonderful discovery – it was sweet, but sharp and the whole berries were a welcome surprise in the middle of the shortbread.
Did anyone else have a lame hand after all the grating?! Tiring stuff, but it definitely makes for a light biscuit. Oh, and I also pre-baked the bottom layer for 15 minutes, as suggested by a few folks in the P and Q. I think this definitely helped as the bottom was softer than the top because of the preserve, but I think it would have been rather soggy if I hadn’t pre-baked it.
Overall, this was a success in the kitchen, and a recipe that will see years of repetition in our home.
If you’d like the recipe, head over to the blogs of our hosts for this week – 1smallkitchen and The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler. And to check out what everybody else thought of this recipe have a look here at Tuesdays with Dorie.