If you're looking for a treat that will really put you in the holiday mood, look no further! Two golden, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies sandwiched together with raspberry jam will have you humming those seasonal songs in no time!
I'm a huge fan of shortbread. They're just so simple, reliable and go so well with a cup of tea! These cookies lean a bit more to the extravagant side, with the addition of the raspberry jam and a large proportion of butter, but hey, it's the holidays, when else are you going to splurge?!
Though the ingredients for these are ordinary and you most likely have many of them in your pantry/fridge right now, they come together in a different way than any other shortbread I have ever made. After all the ingredients for the dough are mixed together, you form them into two balls and freeze them. When sufficiently frozen, you grate one ball of the dough, either by hand or in a food processor (I tried both and I will admit it's easier in the processor, especially because the dough is so darn cold, but it's totally doable by hand as well) right into a baking pan. This gives it a lighter, less dense texture.
Then you cover that layer with delicious raspberry jam before grating the second ball onto the top.
Bake it till it's golden brown, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and prepare to literally beat back the swarming masses that invade your kitchen, drawn by the incredible aroma if you want to give these a chance to cool! You can see by the missing row below that I lost the battle!!
Once cool, you cut them into bars and bite into that rich buttery cookie, delightfully enhanced by gooey raspberry jam and the sweetness of powdered sugar. Perfection! I think a tin of these would be a much appreciated holiday gift!!
Makes 16 large bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus at least 2 hours of freezing); Bake Time: 35-45 minutes
- 4 sticks (1 lb) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup raspberry jam, room temperature
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the yolks and beat well.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix only until blended and the dough starts to come together. Sprinkle some flour on a board or work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Form two large balls. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight (or up to a month if you prefer)
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. and take out a 9x13 inch baking pan. Remove one ball of dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it by hand (or with the grating disk in a food processor) directly onto the bottom of the pan. Cover the surface evenly with the shreds.
4. Using the back of a spoon, spread the jam over the shreds, trying to leave about 1/2 inch from the edges. Don't worry if some of the shreds get displaced.
5. Remove the second piece of dough from the freezer and grate it over the jam, making sure it's spread out evenly.
6. Bake until golden brown, about 35-45 minutes (original recipe says 30-40 but mine wasn't done until 45 minutes). Remove pan and immediately sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars using a serrated knife.
7. Shortbread keeps 3 days at room temperature--after that refrigerate it.
Note: Recipe adapted from Butter Sugar Flour Eggs by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto, and Julia Moskin.