Julia Child's Hungarian Shortbread Recipe with Strawberry Conserve from Woodhill Cottage

Julia Child's Hungarian Shortbread

Prep time: 35 minutes
Total time:1 hour and 50 minutes
Yield: 12 squares or 24 triangles


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, for garnish

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Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, beat the butter until it is pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved and you have a pale, light mixture. With your mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, mixing only until the ingredients are incorporated. Turn the dough out on a cutting board, cut in half and form each half into a ball. Wrap balls tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange oven rack to center of the oven. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment so that the paper overlaps the sides.

Remove one ball of dough from the freezer and grate the dough into prepared baking pan, (using the large hole side of a 4 sided grater). Pat the dough, don’t press it, so it gets evenly spread in the pan, getting right into the corners, too. Spread Woodhill Cottage Strawberry Conserve over the shortbread batter. Grate the remaining dough ball on top of the Strawberry Conserve layer. Pat gently so it’s evenly spread. Bake for approx. 40 minutes or until it is golden.

As soon as you take the pan from the oven, dust the shortbread with confectioner’s sugar and cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Cut into 12 equal bars. Cut each bar in half diagonally to form 24 triangles.

Festive alternative: Shortbread may be cut into holiday-themed shapes such as hearts for Valentine’s Day. The “scrapes” make wonderful toppings for ice cream.

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