Lydia's Austrian Strawberry Shortbread Bar Cookies

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lydia's Austrian Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
Lydia's Austrian Strawberry Shortbread Bar Cookies

These are lovely little bites of heaven. Light and delicate, these are perfect for a potluck, dessert bar, or with a cup of coffee or tea. You can exchange the jams for different flavor profiles. Or, you can add some chocolate to the dough too.

Lydia's Austrian Strawberry Shortbread collage
These photos write their own jokes.

Okay, so you make the dough and split it into two. The instructions say to form into balls and freeze. Then, you grate the balls. Yes, grate the balls.

After making this recipe a few times, I came up with, I believe, is a better plan. First, grating balls of dough by hand is a pain in the neck. Pull out your food processor for this one - it's worth the washing. Second, when I tried to grate the balls in the food processor, I had to cut frozen balls to make them fit into the processor - annoying. Finally, it dawned on me to form the dough into logs so they fit into the food processor! Now, I can easily grate the frozen dough with one easy push of the machine.

Lydia's Shortbread collage 3
The recipe calls for Raspberry Jam. For this one, I substituted Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves.

Lydia's Shortbread collage 2
You grate one frozen log and place the pieces in the bottom of the pan (for this one, I used a 9 x 9 pan...the full recipe is for a 9 x 13 pan).

The instructions say to use a spoon or flexible spatula to spread the jam. However, I ended up carrying shreds of dough all over and it was kinda messy. So, I now put the jam into a bag and kinda pipe it into the pan. Easy peasy! Top with the second log of shredded dough.

Lydia's Austrian Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Butter Sugar Flour Eggs by Gale Gand
Recipe on Epicurious too

Note: Above, I made 1/2 the recipe and used a 9 x 9 pan. 

Lydia's Austrian Raspberry Shortbread Bars

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
4 egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup raspberry jam, at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time.

With the mixer on low, add the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until just incorporated. Don't overmix.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and form into two logs that will fit in your food processor. (You can form into two balls if you want to grate them by hand). Wrap each in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours or overnight (I let it freeze at least overnight - this is a good one you can make ahead).

When you are ready to assemble the bars, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grate one of the frozen balls or logs. Place the shreds of dough the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan or a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Spread out evenly and do not press down.

Spread jam over the surface, leaving a 1/2 inch border. You can use a spoon or spatula, but I put the jam in a plastic bag and pipe it onto the shreds. I found the the spoon/spatula method was difficult because you picked up a bunch of shreds along the way.

Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it over the entire surface.

Bake until lightly golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. As soon as the shortbread comes out of the oven, dust liberally with confectioners' sugar.

Cool on a wire rack, then cut in the pan with a serrated knife. You may want to dust a bit more powdered sugar on top when serving.

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Nutmeg Nanny said... [Reply to comment]

These looks absolutely delightful :)I love Bonne Maman jam!

Sue/the view from great island said... [Reply to comment]

I love crumble bars, and the grating of the dough is such an interesting method...I can just imagine the light texture that must create. And what would we do without Bonne Maman, I now have a huge collection of those jars!

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