Austrian Shortbread

In addition to sharing good recipes with all of you, I hope to use Lottie + Doof as an archive of what I eat. I want to make sure that all of my favorite recipes end up on this site.  This isn’t as easy as it seems since I often don’t repeat recipes, but I’m making an effort. This Austrian Shortbread (or Austro-Hungarian Shortbread as we’ve recently started referring to it because of my confusion over which country it belonged to) has been a favorite for a while and it is a recipe that I will gladly make whenever I have an opportunity. Luckily, an opportunity presented itself to me last weekend.

In addition to being outrageously delicious, these cookies are fun to make. You get to grate dough! And yes, I know there is a pound of butter in this recipe, but it makes at least 16 cookies, and you wouldn’t really eat more than one (at least not once you know there is a pound of butter in them). I made them for a birthday party and they were a big hit. They’re good for baking self-esteem because they are pretty simple to put together and yet people go bonkers for them. Especially the butter-lovers in your life. You could try these with other flavors of jam, but I think raspberry is best.

Austrian Shortbread Cookies (adapted from an Epicurious Recipe)

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 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. Add the vanilla and mix.

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° F.

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.

***Okay, so if you read this part and wondered to yourself how you could possibly spread raspberry jam over shredded dough—you’re not alone. I put the jam in a plastic sandwich bag, cut off a corner, and piped it all over the top of the dough. It was easy and saved me a lot of frustration. Photo below.

15 comments to “Austrian Shortbread”

  1. I love jam-type bars, even with all that butter. Your pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Must try this soon. YUM!

  3. i’ve seen this recipe before and thought, “how neat!” i think you pushed me over the edge to actually try it!

    thanks and cheers – they look lovely,


  4. I love anything with raspberry….YUM.

  5. I just made coffee cake with raspberries! These look awesome!

  6. What a fun indeed to grate dough! :)

  7. Looks YUMMY, but yowza, 4 sticks of butter..I may have to wait until the fall/winter for this one (so I’m far from swimsuit season).

  8. I’m a chocolate person…but shortbread and jam just kills me with a cup of coffee midday. Thank you!

  9. unconfidentialcook: you could get the best of both worlds by replacing 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of cocoa powder and have chocolate shortbread with jam!

  10. How lovely. I’ve just bought two different Scandinavian cookbooks because their baked goods are by far the best. So I’ll definetly be returning. And you’ve got American measurements too. Wow! Thanks.

  11. The last picture is great. All that jammy jam.

  12. Oh my god….made these tonight. So. Damned. Buttery. Loved them. Funny, I trained as and worked for years as a pastry chef but I’m not sure I ever shaved dough. Now thinking of lots of various applications. So, so good. Thank you for sharing this!

  13. I make a version of these using a rhubarb filling–amazing! The tart rhubarb sets off the rich shortbread nicely. I got the recipe from Baking with Julia. Mmmm…too bad I have to wait for spring and more fresh rhubarb!

  14. I know this is an old post, but I made these for the first time today and they are fantastic. Honestly, I’m dreaming about when I can eat another one.
    Although I did laugh out loud at “16 cookies” (I cut them to 64 and it’s still a sizable cookie). Happy holidays!

  15. Hey Jenny! So glad you liked these, they are pretty delicious. And yes, 16 seems unhealthy. (especially when you know how much butter is in them) Thanks for letting me know!

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