Monday, December 3, 2007

Day 2: Shortbread Bars with Mango Jam Filling

Shortbread Bars with Mango Jam Filling
Sometimes on especially cold days, I can't help but reminisce about the glories of summer. These mango shortbread bars served as my departure to a warm, tropical place. The original shortbread recipe comes from my very first cookbook "Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs" by Gale Gand - a great title and a great book about the main ingredients a baker cannot live without. The "Austrian raspberry shortbread" recipe of the butter chapter is one of my favorites from the book. You can tell because the book practically opens to this page. Though these are delicious with raspberry jam, you can substitute any jam or preserves for the filling. In this case, I made some mango jam with mango that I saved in the freezer from summer.

The baking powder in shortbread dough make the cookie a little lighter and the egg yolks make it even richer. The most unique step in this recipe that I have never seen in any other shortbread recipe is that the dough is first frozen, then grated into a baking pan, creating a much lighter and delicate cookie. Grating the dough by hand on a box grater is time consuming, I won't deny it, but it's something I've been doing with this recipe for the past couple of years. But for you lucky folks with a food processor, the grating can be done in less than a minute without any scraped knuckles. These are great paired with a cup of tea.

The recipe is slightly adapted from the original. I halved the sugar because the original recipe was much, much too sweet and I also decreased the butter and baking powder. The recipe can be halved and baked in an 8 x 8 pan.

Shortbread Bars with Mango Jam Filling
Adapted from Gale Gand

3 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
1 C sugar
4 C AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 C mango jam (recipe below) or your favorite jam or preserves
Powdered sugar for dusting

Cream the butter with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and egg yolks and beat (originally wrote cream but that was confusing) until evenly mixed.

In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add this to the butter and mix until the dough comes together.

Divide the dough in half then in half again for 4 equal portions. Shape these pieces into a log shape for easy grating (and if you're using a food processor, make sure it can fit into the feed tube). Freeze the dough for at least 3 hours and it will keep in the freezer for up to a month.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Working with 1 bar of dough at a time, grate 2 portions of the dough onto the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan. I like to use a Pyrex pan so I can monitor the color of the bottom of the shortbread. You can line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the cookies after baking but you won't be able to monitor the color of the bottom. Make sure the pan is evenly covered with pieces of the dough.

Using a spatula or the back of the spoon, spread jam evenly over the dough leaving a 1/2 in border around the edges. Then grate the remaining half of the dough on top of the jam.

Bake on the middle rack until golden brown 30 to 40 minutes but I've had to bake longer sometimes. After baking, cool the cookie completely. Then dust with powdered sugar and cut into bars.

Mango Jam
2 C mango cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Tbsp to 1/4 C sugar (or more depending on the sweetness of your mango)
1 Tbsp lime juice

In a nonreactive saucepan, sprinkle the sugar over the mango cubes and let the fruit macerate for about 20 - 30 minutes.

Add the lime juice and cook the mangoes until the liquid has evaporated and the fruit is thick and chunky. You can mash some of the mangoes if you prefer.

Keep this in the fridge and use on toast, in a baked good filling.

Day 1: White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookies


Patricia Scarpin said...

Amy, I already love shortbread, and with mango jam... They become irresistible!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those bars are interesting! Wow, really scrumptious! I love shortbread and mangoes, so it's something for me...



Meeta K. Wolff said...

gorgeous!! Shortbread and mango - to die for.

Bettina said...

omg shortbread is my favorite! and on top of that, mango jam?! delicious combination!

test it comm said...

Shortbread and mango jam...mmm...

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I've never heard of grating dough before. Hmmm.

Amy said...

Shortbread is one of my faaavorite cookies! :)

It's quite the tasty combo. :D

Thank you!

Whee we can make some millionaire's shortbread when you get back. :)

I'm mmming with you. :)

Yeah it was pretty interesting when I first read it. Definitely time consuming on the knuckle grater. :D

Graeme said...

I was expecting Lemon from the pic, but Mango is really nice change.

Susan @ SGCC said...

These look awesome! Shortbread is one of my absolute favorites. What a good idea to use a fruit filling. Smuckers actually makes a mango jam. I've used it before.

Helene said...

Great series you started for Christmas and these look absolutely delicious. Irresistible!

eatme_delicious said...

These look really tasty! Unfortunately I don't know if I can find mango jam but I'm sure they'd be tasty with other flavours too. Thanks for posting this!

Deborah said...

I made some shortbread bars as well, and am now in love! I love the idea of the mango jam filling.

Melanie said...

In your recipe, you mention adding sugar, egg yolks and cream but cream isn't in the ingredient list. What kind of cream?

Amy said...

I really love the mango jam.

Thank you! Wow I had no idea Smucker's made a mango jam, I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Thanks! :)

Definitely, it's fantastic with any jam.

Shortbread is sooo delicious.

What I meant by "cream" was cream the butter, sugar, and egg yolks. Sorry for the confusion! I edited the recipe to use the word "beat." There is no cream in the recipe. Sorry again!

Melanie said...

After reading your comment, I almost wanted to kick myself! It's funny how both of our definitions work in the context of the sentence and yet can mean two different things, depending on what mindset you're in!

Udaya said...

Thank you very much for this lovely recipe. I baked these for a dinner party and they were a huge success! :) The idea of grating dough was certainly unique and your instructions precise.

Looking forward to trying your orange pistachio biscotti recipe next.


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