Monday, April 30, 2012

Hungarian Shortbread

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia recipe is Hungarian Shortbread. Thanks to the tips from my peeps in the group who had already made the recipe, I knew to prebake the crust for 15 mins, reduce the amount of sugar in the dough, use the food processor instead of a box grater to grate the dough, and dust with power sugar after the shortbread had completely cooled.  The recipe calls for a pound, (Yes, you heard me; I said a pound. ) of butter. However, given that swimsuit season is rapidly approaching and I’m already carrying some extra winter weight, to limit my temptation, I cut the recipe in half and only used a scant two sticks of butter. 

If you follow my blog, you know I am a tough critic and don’t hand out complements lightly, so when I say this recipe is “da bomb,” you know this is a mighty good cookie.   This is the shortbread of the gods.  It’s somewhat light, due to grating the frozen dough instead of rolling it. It has a buttery crust and a gooey jam filling. Tasters at my house gave the shortbread rave reviews.  One four-year old taster in particular requested five more pieces.  Given the amount of butter and sugar in this bad boy, that didn’t happen.  You can find the recipe at Tuesdays with Dorie/Baking with Julia or better yet buy the book Baking with Julia.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lemon Loaf Makeover

This recipe is like the Plain Jane in the talk show audience who desperately needs a make over.  We’ve all seen these shows where the talk show host picks a rather plain woman out of the audience and whisks her back stage for a new hairstyle, makeup, and a snazzy outfit.  Fifty minutes later, the former Plain Jane emerges from backstage, like Cinderella in her ball gown, totally transformed.  Similarly, like the Plain Jane in need of lipstick and accessories, this Lemon Loaf cake needs some help.  Lemon curd, lemon glaze, icing, strawberries, jam, or whipped cream, would certainly improve this plain, rather dry, Lemon Loaf cake.  A good loaf cake, like a natural beauty, should be able to go au natural; this cake, in my opinion, cannot.