Wednesday, February 23, 2011

8th week is a time for treats

With my comps talk being complete, I found myself with some free time during 8th week. Since 8th is often crunch time, I figured that friends would appreciate a treat. I decided to try a new recipe for shortbread, as it should be able to handle a day or two in a mailbox.

After returning from stuffing mailboxes, I tried the shortbread and immediately considered returning to the Post Office to retrieve the bars that I had just delivered. Why had I shared these? I wanted them all! Although shortbread isn't usually my favorite baked good, this recipe is now on my go-to list.

Hungarian Shortbread with Raspberry Jam
from Baking with Julia

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
~3/4 cup raspberry jam

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Using a mixer, beat the butter on high speed until it is pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until the ingredients are incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and cut in half. Shape each half into a ball and wrap each in plastic. Freeze the dough for about 30 minutes, until firm. (You can freeze the dough, tightly wrapped, for up to a month at this point. Thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350F. Remove one ball of dough from the freezer and using the side of a box grater with the largest holes, grate the dough into a 9-by-12 inch baking pan. Pat the dough gently just to get it into the corners (you don't want to press it down) and spread with the rhubarb jam. Grate the remaining dough over the jam and press it lightly to distribute it evenly. Bake the shortbread for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

As soon as you remove the pan from the oven, dust the top of the shortbread heavily with confectioner's sugar. Cool to room temperature on a rack. Cut into bars when it is cool.