Austrian Raspberry Shortbread

So the first two days at my new job left me wanting to bang my head on the desk. The “training” was so painful I would have rather they just put me to work scrubbing dishes or hell even cleaning toilets!

Exibit A: A plate of eggs gets one slice of orange to garnish, but if it’s egg beaters it gets TWO slices of orange.

Really!? First of all why? And second, they only repeated it like 50 times so I think I will be incapable of ever serving egg beaters without two slices of orange from here on out in my life!

But it’s a job, and I’m grateful. A little whiny maybe, but grateful.

Since I was busy again today, I asked one of my favorite bloggers if she’d be willing to stop by. Valerie doesn’t know it, but her blog, une Gamine dans la Cuisine was the first blog that I subscribed to. She has this incredible style that can only be described as casual elegance. Her blog is warm and inviting and filled with such tempting treats as her latest Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting. I was blog smitten.

I lurked for a long time before I finally left a comment, and now I’m ever so gad that I did because look what she made for us!


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Valerie: When a recipe calls for only one stick of butter, I don’t expect to be blown away by it, at least not completely. (Sugar is my wing-man if all else fails.)

When a recipe calls for Two sticks of butter, I get excited. In fact, I’ll sometimes hum the song “Iko Iko,” without even realizing that I’m humming. (I am not a hummer.)

Once in a while, a recipe will call for a whopping 4 sticks of butter. When that happens, things get ridiculous. At that point, it’s just better if everyone leaves the five of us alone while I bake.

This shortbread not only contains a massive amount of butter love, it also plays around with sprightly lemon zest and luscious raspberry jam. Spring, meet your muses.

If anyone deserves a rich, buttery, indulgent dessert, it’s Jennifer. If I lived nearby, I would bring her a batch of this shortbread, along with a few mojitos.

When Jennifer started leaving comments on my blog a few months ago, I could tell that she was actually reading my posts (random, rambling, run-on-sentences, and all). It’s always good to know that someone is paying attention. So it was quite an honor when she asked if I would write a guest post for her beautiful blog! And may I just say, not only is the food mouth-watering, but “The Three Little Piglets” is an adorable name. Piglets are third in line on my list of favorite animals. (I was always charmed with the Piggly Wiggly grocery stores too.) I would have been drawn here even without the delicious recipes.

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for allowing me to contribute to your blog. And please know that during this rough patch, even though most of your fellow food bloggers are spread across the country (and the world), you never have to feel alone…even when it’s 3am and worries are attacking in full force. Someone will always be online for you. If I’ve learned anything from being a food blogger (aside from Not using a camera flash), it’s that food bloggers are an amazingly kind and generous group of people. And one of us will always leave a light on. xo

Austrian Raspberry Shortbread

Yields: 18-20 bars

Ingredients

2 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest (about 1-2 large lemons)

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound (4 sticks) of unsalted butter, slightly softened

4 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups raspberry jam, well-stirred and at room temperature

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar until it's moist and fragrant; set aside.

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

In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on med-high speed until creamy (about 5 minutes). Add the lemon sugar mixture and beat to combine. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add the egg yolks, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once all the yolks have been added, beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds until well combined.

Switch back to low speed and slowly begin to add the dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated and the dough starts to come together. It should cling to the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Form each half into a thick disk and tightly wrap each one in plastic wrap. *Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.

[*Note: Well-wrapped, the dough can be frozen for up to one month.]

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a slight overhand around the edges. Lightly spray the foil.

Remove one dough disk from the freezer. Use a *grater or a food processor fitted with the grating attachment to coarsely grate the dough. *[Note: I found that it was much easier to cut the disk into strips and grate by hand directly into the prepared pan.] Arrange the shredded dough into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Use the palms of your hands or the back of a spoon to slightly press down on the shreds of dough. You don't have to press too hard, just enough to make it less fluffy for the jam layer. Pour the *stirred jam over the surface, and use a small off-set spatula to coax it into an even layer. Be sure to leave a 1/2-inch bare edge all the way around. Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it over the jam. *[Note: If the jam is too stiff to spread, place it in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 15 seconds until it becomes more pourable.]

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle the shortbread with confectioners' sugar. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely before removing slicing.

Once the shortbread has reached room temperature, use the foil overhand to gently lift them out of the pan. Use a serrated knife to cut into squares.

Now feel free to go and shower Valerie with love for making Wednesday so much sweeter! You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Comments

  1. 1

    Wow, this recipe looks amazing! I agree—anything that calls for 2 sticks of butter has got to be good.

  2. 2

    What’s a pound of butter between friends, eh? What a glorious bar. I can just imagine the fantastic buttery aromas emanating from your kitchen, Valerie!!

  3. 3

    I like the more substantial forms of shortbread as opposed to the thin cookies. These raspberry bars look delicious!

  4. 4

    Oooh these look like they would go perfect with my morning coffee! Beautiful pictures too!

  5. 5

    What a gorgeous looking bar Jen! Love the second picture. Absolutely stunning.

  6. 6

    This is my kind of treat, I love shortbread! This is gorgeous Jen!

  7. 7

    Jen, you’re right, I didn’t know I was your first blog subscription! I’m flattered. Thanks for sticking with me.
    As far as the double orange garnished egg beaters, it’s perfectly okay to whine about something so peculiar…and haunting, for both orange and egg. :D

  8. 8

    I think it’s great you get to work in the food industry! ,my job has nothing to do with food :( This recipe is absolutely mouthwatering!

  9. 9

    I certainly wouldn’t turn down this dessert! Nice guest post. But I’m curious about this new job. What on earth are you doing and why do they want oranges on their egg beaters?

  10. 11

    I adore this recipe – being a big fan of any shortbread and patrioticly Australian, you have made my day :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  11. 12

    Jen, sorry to hear the first few days haven’t been the best (and you’re right, the decision to put 1 or 2 slices or orange hardly seems important in the grand scheme of serving eggs!) but I hope it improves over time. Thanks for sharing another guest blogger and I’m off to check out Valerie’s blog as it’s completely new to me (yay!)

  12. 13

    Wow these look incredible! SOrry the job isn’t starting out so great Jen! These shortbreads would definitely make my hump day a lot better if I could eat one! I love the comment about leaving the 5 of them alone lol! That was great. Really great, delicious recipe! Yum!

  13. 14

    So sorry the new job is a little frustrating. But wow, those shortbread look amazing!!!

  14. 15

    These look delicious with lots of butter. Training is always hard and completely exhausting. Soon though it will be no more training and you will be an expert.

  15. 16

    This shortbread sounds amazing! It must be increadibly melt in your mouth with the richness of the butter! The raspberry makes it all the more heavenly :)!

  16. 17

    Hi Jen, hopefully you will get used to the job sooner than you think. Thanks for introducing a new blogger. Hi Valerie, your shortbread looks really good and love the raspberry filling! Great to see friendship on blogosphere. :-)

  17. 18

    Shortbread and mojitos sound like a perfect pairing :) It must be this spring weather that leads me to this conclusion…! Wishing you the best as your training continues, Jennifer!

  18. 20

    Thank you Jen and Valerie. Those shortbread looks so tasty. I have a secret affair with shortbread, just love it, the real one, with butter. Jen, sorry to hear about your job, and I hope soon you’ll get use to it. You have a lot to deal with at the moment, but you also have many friends that supports you and love you.

  19. 21

    I’m really sorry about work, it’s definitely not fun scrubbing dishes and cleaning toilets. I hope it starts getting better soon :) Life can be really stressful and annoying sometimes, but you can push through it! As for this wonderful treat that Valerie made, wow! 4 sticks of butter? That’s insane….insanely good! I may have trouble walking after eating this delicious shortbread, but I’m sure it will be worth it :)

  20. 22

    That shortbread looks killer! I am sure it is worth every calorie and I would gladly eat it and never think twice. I love butter!!!

  21. 24

    Jen, I’m sorry to hear the training as been so dull! I hope it, and everything, gets better! I love this guest post and am so happy to be introduced to Valerie! Besides a beautiful recipe, I really love how she writes and second what she said about your fellow food bloggers (that includes me!) always having a light on. {hugs}

  22. 26

    Valerie is just as sweet as her shortbread :) Nice name btw…….

  23. 27

    Jen, I totally sympathize about the silliness of certain new job tasks, but I’m sure you will become more and more comfortable with each new day. Lovely shortbread recipe! It turned out just perfect.

  24. 28

    I’m bookmarking these and I’m making them ASAP. Looks delicious. Sorry to hear your job is irritating…keep your spirits up!

  25. 30

    Wow those look good! The pictures are absolutely amazing, and I’m already drooling just imagining how they would taste! I’ll have to go check Valerie’s blog as well now to see what shes got cooking up! Thanks for sharing your blog!

  26. 32

    Wow, that’s quite the giant pat of butter :D! 1 pound? Mmmm, it’s gotta be delicious… I do love the ol’ butter :D

    Hope you start enjoying the job – it’s work after all… gotta be thankful for that at least :)

  27. 34

    Aw, girl, I hope things get better at your job!

    This shortbread looks so good! I love anything with raspberry!

  28. 35

    Jen: egg beaters and orange slices…that could be the name of a new blog about inane rules on the job. Valerie: four sticks of butter…be still my heart!

    • 36

      That would be funny! I’m keeping a journal of funny and stupid things that pop up. Maybe someday it’ll turn into a book like S*#@ my Dad Says…

  29. 37

    That shortbread is just stunning! And I’m sorry that you’re having such a tough first week at work. The comment about the orange slices made me laugh, but I know it will get better.

  30. 39

    With all that butter, how can these be anything but delicious?? I love Valerie’s blog too, and am so excited to see this recipe today! Hope you settle into a rhythm at work soon – the first couple weeks are always the worst!

  31. 41

    hope things get better at work! oh man these look amazing!! i too love Valerie’s blog :)

  32. 43

    Lovely to meet Valerie through her yummy shortbread. 2 sticks of butter and humming? Love it. Jen, hang in there. The first few days are always the worst but with your get-up-and-go they’ll soon realise who they’re dealing with! Good luck and thanks for a super guest post!

  33. 45

    Mmmmm Raspberry shortbread! These look so scrumptious! Such beautiful pictures too!

  34. 46

    Thanking you for cracking the code on this one.

    I too love the cookies at the Double Tree and prefer to stay at a place that has a little treat for you upon arrival, I mean who doesn’t enjoy that appreciation!

    Hope Monday and the job are going well Jen :)

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