Austrian raspberry shortbread.

I’ve been posting cookies lately but can I (please) post one more?  You won’t mind?  I promise, after this one I’ll be posting savory eats for at least a week or two.  Plus, this is not just a cookie—it’s a bar cookie and it’s outstanding.  The most impressive cookie I had to offer this Christmas.  When someone asked what it was, my father chimed in: Who cares what it is! It’s delicious! And my father is the pickiest eater I know.

It takes a little elbow grease—you need to grate the frozen dough—but it’s the perfect cookie to make for your family, or your boss, or anyone you want to please.  It harkens the good old days when mixes weren’t in any pantries and Betty Crocker wasn’t simply a name on a box.  Don’t forgo the grating and don’t press down on the grated dough when sprinkling it into the pan—it’s all part of the perfect crumbly, almost coffee-cake texture that makes this cookie shine.

The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, who got it here.  SK suggests adding some vanilla or lemon (or both) to the dough.  I planned to do just that, but forgot, and I consequentially was glad I did.  I thought the pleasingly simple shortbread dough highlighted the raspberry jam that’s spread between the layers; but of course you should choose for yourself.

I know that Christmas has past but this cookie is too good to wait a whole year for.  Perhaps New Year’s brunch?  Or maybe you have some house guests to feed?  Even if it’s just you and your dog (or cat or fish), you simply must make this cookie.  It keeps well and freezes equally so.  There’s no excuse—It’s delicious!

Austrian Raspberry Shortbread

from Epicurious, a recipe by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, Julia Moskin via the Smitten Kitchen

makes about 36 small squares

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raspberry jam, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Cream the butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) until soft and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix well.

Mix the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add to the butter and egg yolk mixture and mix just until incorporated and the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and form into two balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours or overnight (or as long as a month, if you like).

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove one ball 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.

With the back of a spoon or a flexible spatula, spread the jam over the surface, to within 1/2 inch of the edge all the way around. Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it over the entire surface.

Bake until lightly golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. As soon as the shortbread comes out of the oven, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cool on a wire rack, then cut in the pan with a serrated knife.

25 thoughts on “Austrian raspberry shortbread.”

  1. This looks so good. I like the contrast between the shortbread and the jam. I bet it just melts in your mouth. I am going to bump this up in my recipe cue line!

    1. Amanda: It was a super contrast – I think raspberry jam is the perfect flavor too, though blackberry (or maybe concord grape) would also be good.

      Kate: I hope you did too – and a happy new year!!

      Hayley: You may be able to sub in almond butter for some of the butter, though I’m not sure if it would keep that airy, light, and crumbly texture.

  2. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for some time now, but I haven’t gotten around to making it. I’m definitely going to have to try these!

  3. I made this recipe when it showed up on SK. It really is an incredible bar cookie. Honestly one of the best I’ve ever made.

  4. I’m obsessed with anything raspberry and these fit the bill. I make a very similar bar with guava; a really really old recipe I’ve had from a colleague of my dads.

  5. Ackkkk! Why did you do this to me? I don’t want to make another cookie but those look just too good! I may bake them and freeze them for my next pot luck or something!

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  7. Mmm. These treats look fantastic… and like just the sort of thing that you can make all year round! I’ll bet these would be perfect with a variety of different fruits.

  8. Wow…Amazing!!
    But you know,the tomatoes with bucheron where the best!!
    I tried some “minas cheese” from Brazil with the tomatoes.It was pretty good also.Do you know this kind of cheese?

    Greetings from Brazil!!

  9. I just had to stop by to say Happy New Year!! I am so glad to be acquainted with you and Jimmy, as you have both affected me in very special ways. Many happy wishes to you both!

  10. I’m a bit late to the conversation, but these look great! They remind me of a very similar recipe I found in Saveur last year (the frozen grated dough was such a unique technique, it is difficult to forget it!) and I stoked you found a similar recipe. I would love to get these for the holidays!

  11. Caetano: No, I’ve never heard of that cheese, but I will check it out– Thank you. (And yes, those tomatoes were sooo good!) 🙂

    Shaw: I use a Sony Alpha that I got on a huge sale. It didn’t break my bank and it does the job for me. I figure if I love photographing food as much as I do now 5 or 10 years from now—I’ll buy the best camera out there.

    Jude: The grating made for such a great texture, I’m certainly going to try it with other bar cookies. And I think this table was the best present I could ever have—I’m always so in love with it every time I see one of the photos with it in the background. And the more weathered it gets—the better.

    Melissa: ❤

    Leena: I’m off to check out Saveur! I love that I can keep going back (again and again) to my old issues–and always be inspired by something.


  12. Robin, this sounds pretty close to a Linzertorte to me. I was given one of those by an old lady, a year ago, who actually came from Linz (as does David Marjonavic at Language Hat) and it was very good, of course.

  13. Jeremy: Yes it is very much like a Linzertorte, except that (I think) most linzertortes are made with almond in the dough while this was just a plain ol’ shortbread, which is (in my opinion) not as good but easier than crushing up almonds after you’ve already made about 100 cookies and can no longer hear the word ‘cookie’ without your head exploding.

  14. A great idea for future recipes this. Thank you for sharing it. Have you noticed how so many people appear to be cooking again? I wonder if the lack of funds due to the current climate has something to do with it and we all appear to be cooking again! its great!

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