Los Angeles is Sad to See You Go Dessert Tray

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lydia's Austrian Shortbread Cookies
A loyal reader of my blog (who reads all the entries and commits them to memory :) is leaving Los Angeles soon for the wonders of Kentucky. Angelenos are sad to lose this smart librarian who is a devoted foodie as well.

But Jennie has never eaten any of my desserts so I wanted to send her off with some baked goods.

First, I made the Lydia’s Austrian Raspberry Shortbread from Gale Gand’s book, “Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs.” There is a unique technique to make this delightful cookie. Here is the recipe on Epicurious.

First, you make the shortbread dough with a bunch of butter, flour and even more butter. Wrap up in plastic and put in the freezer.

Lydia's Austrian Shortbread Cookies Lydia's Austrian Shortbread Cookies

Instead of rolling out or pressing the dough into the pan, you grate the dough to create a delicate layer of shortbread. First, I started to grate it by hand…but that was like grating a really hard snowball. I switched to the food processor to grate the dough. Next time, I’m going to freeze the dough in a log so it will easily fit into my food processor. I had to cut up my frozen ball to fit it into the processor…not very easy or safe.

Lydia's Austrian Shortbread Cookies Lydia's Austrian Shortbread Cookies

It is important to not pat the shavings down into the pan. I placed my jam filling in a pastry a la Ziploc bag so I wouldn’t spread the dough while trying to spread out the jam. This was a very helpful hint from Smitten Kitchen.

Lydia's Austrian Shortbread Cookies

I made ½ the recipe and used a 7 x 7 pan (with Pam Jam) as well as two 4-inch tart pans (with raspberry jam). Next time, I will use all tart pans because the resulting little pie pieces were too cute.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcake & Chocolate Ginger Cookies
I also made some of my chocolate favorites:
Chocolate Ginger Cookies and Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes.

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