My mom sent a recipe to me years ago for Hungarian Shortbread and it’s been a reliable go-to because I usually have the ingredients on hand. I’ve made it so many times, I can almost do it by heart, and had to do just that when I landed in New Delhi to visit my friends, Tim and Denise.
It was Easter, and as we were travelling back from the airport to their flat, knowing my love for baking, Denise informed me that I would be making a dish for a communal Easter brunch the next afternoon! Not a problem – as long as they had flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and a jar of jam, I’d be good to go.
I usually make this recipe around Christmas time. I use a red jam and the final product shows a nice combination of red and white. With my love for orange and chocolate, I couldn’t help but try this with an apricot/marmalade combo and a drizzle of chocolate, and it turned out beautifully!
With seasonal baking just around the corner, I suggest you add this one to your list. It’s only time-consuming because of the chilling stage for the dough. Other than that, it’s quite easy and feeds a crowd.
The recipe was originally spotted in The Toronto Star and I have made some changes over the years, so here’s how my recipe reads:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup (250 grams) unsalted butter, at room temp.
- 1 cup fine, granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 cup of apricot jam (I used the end of a jar of marmalade in mine for the pictured recipe) (raspberry works a treat, too)
- icing sugar for dusting at the end
- 50 grams dark chocolate, melted, to drizzle
- ½ tsp almond extract (optional)
- Use a medium-size bowl to sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of your standing mixer, at medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until they’re light and fluffy. Turn down the speed, and add the yolks, one by one. If you are using almond extract, now is the time to add it. (I find it goes particularly well with raspberry jam.)
- When the egg yolks have been fully incorporated, tip in the dry mixture and blend on low, until combined.
- Arrange two pieces of plastic wrap on your counter – large enough to be able to wrap a disk of dough. Divide the dough into two, 2.5cm rounds, (I weigh mine to make sure they’re equal) wrap and place in the freezer for about an hour.
- In the meantime, prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan by putting a little bit of butter on the bottom and sides, then fitting in a piece of parchment or baking paper, enough so there is an overhang so you can easily lift out the bars.
- After an hour is up, preheat the oven to 180C. Then, on the large holes of a box grater, grate one disk of the dough into the prepared pan. Spread these shards evenly throughout the base of the pan, using your hands to pat them into what looks like a shortbread crust.
- Now, spread your jam evenly over the dough base. (If the jam is too thick you can warm it up in a small pot on the stove and it should loosen up.)
- Grate the second disk of dough onto a cutting board and sprinkle it evenly on top of the jam. Do not press down the shards; they will melt down and form a perfect crumble topping!
- Bake for about 35 minutes, until the top looks lightly browned. Remove from the oven and run the blade of a knife around the edges of the pan in case any of the jam oozed out while baking.
- Allow to cool in the pan, on a wire rack, for at least one hour. When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and drizzle melted chocolate over top. Cut into 24 squares and enjoy!