On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Austrian Shortbread, not quite traditional Christmas shortbread

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I was all set to make my Scottish Shortbread this morning until I read an email from Alison and found myself on Deb’s blog (Smitten Kitchen) and wound my way to the Austrian Shortbread.

Stacked shortbreadAll prior plans were put on hold and I was now gathering the ingredients for the Austrian Shortbread.

Deb’s photos made the shortbread dough looked really yellow but mine wasn’t quite so yellow, which I was thankful for.

I dumped all the dough out and then had to gather it together which it kept sort of crumbling a bit and took a little bit of kneading to get it to stick enough so I could plonk it on the scales to weigh and then divide equally. It was just over 700gm each piece. I made a fairly thick disk and then when I put the disk onto the gladwrap I squashed it flatter ready for freezing. The freezing time was anywhere from 2 hours to leave it in the freezer for days, or even months.

Shortbread doughWhen I got home this afternoon I got the Cusinart out ready to grate the frozen disks. Naturally I had to cut the disks so that the pieces would fit down the shoot of the food processor. It was properly frozen and I was quite concerned it was too solid for the food processor, given I was having a little difficulty getting a knife through it. Once I had the disk in half it was much easier to cut the rest up.

I began with the sandwich slice tin but quickly realised there was too much dough from the 1 disk for the size of the tin (8 x 12”) so I quickly grabbed the jelly roll tin (9 x 14”) and lined it with another piece of baking paper to cover the rest of the tin and tipped the rest of the grated dough out and evened it out.

Preparing the shortbreadWith the raspberry jam (we have Roses) I thinned it a little with a ½ lemon which was almost 2 tablespoons (I measured). It was still reasonably thick, it was taking a few seconds before it would fall from the spoon.  I used a piping bag and a number 10 Wilton nozzle. Next came the other half of the dough. At this point I was crossing my fingers that it didn’t spill over the sides. Despite having a slightly bigger pan I had plenty of dough and I reckon you could even go a bit larger.

The recipe says to bake for 50-60 minutes or until the middle is no longer wobbly, and the colour should be light brown. At 30 minutes I was starting to worry since the colour was already light brown. At 38 minutes I took the pan out. It was done. On went the icing sugar, it gives it a bit of a crisp top when you bit into it. The photo makes me think of falling snow. Not that it’s snowed here at all this year, and not that we get snow in summer ;-)

Snow fallingI’ve got so much of this recipe I should have only made a half. I said to Mr Fussy that I’d get some to Natalie. They moved back to their home after being away 7 months while their house was being repaired, following the earthquakes. I suspect Natalie’s not even had time to think about baking. I’m pretty sure the girls (16 and 19 are hardly girls!) have all finished studies, but Cameron just returned home today so I’m sure a bit of baking would be welcome.

Crisp texture a little crumblyThe small changes I made to this recipe are:

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of Lemon extract
  • Add juice of 1/2 lemon (scant 2 tablespoons) to the raspberry jam
  • Flour by weight is 650 gm

Later this evening as Mr Fussy was getting his lunch organised for work, he popped his head around the corner and said in a bit of a concerned voice “you’re not giving it all away are you”. He said he really quite liked it. But he loves raspberries so I’m not surprised he likes it.

Austrian ShortbreadThis is not like a shortbread that I’d call shortbread, it’s a little bit crumbly and light in texture, and despite the extra kick of lemon, I couldn’t detect it. Mr Fussy said it did look like what he saw when he travelled through Austria. So that’s something.

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2 thoughts on “Austrian Shortbread, not quite traditional Christmas shortbread

  1. Looks extra yum! I am all set to make the Linzer Torte this weekend. I just love Deb’s book, along with Joy the Baker’s – it’s not just the recipes, it’s their writing style. Makes me feel like I am one of their girlfriends!

    • Hi Alison. I’m sure the Linzer Torte will be a hit. I love Deb and Joy’s writing style too. I don’t think I write as if I know someone else is reading, or I flip flop between writing as a memory for me if I return to the recipe again, and that of trying to help guide someone who might actually visit the blog with a view to make a recipe. Maybe I need to pretend I have a captive audience and find a better rhythm to my writing. Let me know how you get on with the torte. I think all this talk of Deb’s recipes has me itching for a slice of the shortbread. I. Must. Resist.

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