austrian raspberry shortbread

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what makes these austrian exactly? i’m not sure but those austrians got it right.

this is my kind of dessert.  while most people indulge over gooey chocolate concoctions or bowlfuls of creamy dreamy mousses, i much rather prefer formations of the fruity.  anything with berries or citrus is an immediate magnet for my finicky fingers.  mmm blackberry cobbler… strawberry shortcake… warm apple crisp à la mode… gets me every time.

these shortbread bars, however, are definitely climbing up the ranks of my fruitful fantasies.  with raspberry jam and a hint of lemon zest, they perfect the balance between delicacy and simplicity… with just a little sass.  even my diehard choc-pb friends are asking for this recipe.

countdown: 23 days until italy– and a mandatory stop at austria while i’m over there!img_2298

Austrian Raspberry Shortbread
adapted from Butter Sugar Flour Eggs by Gale Gand, Rick Tramanto and Julia Moskin

3 ½ sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup raspberry jam
juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

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

Cream the butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a hand mixer) until soft and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks, lemon zest, and vanilla extract; mix well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter and mix until just incorporated and until the dough starts to come together.  Divide the dough in half and form into logs (to fit into food processor).  Wrap each log in plastic wrap.  Freeze the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight (or as long as a month, if you like).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove one log of dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it by hand or with the grating disk in a food processor into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan or a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Make sure the surface is covered evenly with shreds of dough (do not press the dough into the pan—resist!).

In a small bowl, whisk together the raspberry jam with the lemon juice until smooth.  Drizzle as evenly as possible over the shortbread making sure to leave a ½ inch edge.  Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and coarsely grate over the entire surface.

Bake until lightly golden brown and the center no longer wiggles, about 50-60 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Then dust the top with powdered sugar and cut into bars with a serrated knife.  

 

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