Hungarian shortbread: getting a workout

This recipe was not quite as simple as it seemed. First, I didn’t know much about rhubarb, having never cooked with it before.  The rhubarb I’ve seen in photographs looked much redder and thinner than the giant stalks I found at the grocers. In fact, they reminded me of red-tinted and overgrown celery — really, I was supposed to put this in shortbread?

I weighed my pound, brought it home, trimmed the ends, and chopped it into 1 inch pieces.  Instead of cooking the jam on the stovetop, as Dorie suggested,  I opted for roasted rhubarb jam.  It was tart and much tastier than I expected, and I figured it would work just fine for the Hungarian short bread attempt.

I froze the dough, then let it rest in the refrigerator, and got out my box grater.  This was the workout part of the recipe — grating two fairly hefty balls of flour and butter is harder than it seems. By the end, my arms were getting a bit tired — and I worried about repetitive use injury!

Several Doristas worried about the bottom layer of dough not getting baked thoroughly with the jam layer on top, but I forged ahead, putting the jam on the shredded dough, then covering it up with a nice loose layer of shredded butter and flour. I loved the delicate top and the bottom baked just perfectly.

This is one of those desserts that, because of the pound of butter, you probably want to share with as many friends, family, and co-workers as possible.

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15 Responses to Hungarian shortbread: getting a workout

  1. I agree it is perfect for holiday baking or family get togethers..definitely not for everyday home baking!!

  2. Ckay says:

    Mmmm Yummy yummy pictures!
    I love this recipe and even after reducing the calories and fat it still tasted great!
    (reducing calories and fat = don’t need to share!) = joking about the sharing!!
    Share it and make all your friends love you even more! Oh yes, with this recipe they’ll definitely will.

  3. I know what you mean about the grating – it didn’t go so hot with me! :) I brought mine to work and gave some to everyone I could because I liked these so much I was afraid I would eat the equivalent of a whole stick of butter! The roasted rhubarb was a great idea!

  4. heidi1169 says:

    Absolutely stellar idea with roasting the rhubarb. I would have loved more “tartness” with all that butter. I am totally going to try that soon!

  5. jane says:

    It looks beautiful and I thought the grating was tiring as well.

  6. Alice says:

    I like that your top layer looks kind of like toasted coconuts :)

  7. Cathleen says:

    I love roasted anything! Brings out such great flavor in foods.

  8. Definite workout from this one!! Glad you enjoyed these!!

  9. Ei says:

    It looks so pretty with that bright pink rhubarb! I used lemon curd, so mine didn’t have much visual contrast. Tasted good, though!

  10. The beginning of your blog sounded just like my experience!! Totally thought overgrown red celery!! ha ha Glad you had fun and your bars look great! :)

  11. Kudos for making the rhubarb jam. I made Dorie’s roasted rhubarb from her French cookbook and realized that rhubarb is not to my liking. Great post!

  12. Cher says:

    Small pieces are a smart idea, indeed. This was definitely a butter buster.
    Your cookies look delightful! See you Friday…

  13. galettista says:

    The roasted rhubarb jam sounds intriguing. Your photos look great.

  14. oven chaos says:

    Since I bought extra of the overgrown celery, I will definitely try the roasted version of the jam :) Thanks for the idea. Love the shortbread reflection on the plate!

  15. Teresa says:

    I love roasted rhubarb – what a great choice for this recipe. i have to admit that I’m glad my nieces thought grating the dough was the best part of this recipe – no workout for me!

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