On Tuesday evening, Chef Gale Gand gave attendees a virtual baking lesson. Attendees had the chance to ask Chef Gand questions. Unfortunately, we ran out of time before Chef Gand got them all, so Food Technology’s Senior Digital Editor Kelly Hensel followed up with the chef to get the answers to your burning questions. Your questions concerning the recipe for Lydia's Austrian Stuffed Shortbread can be found in this post, but make sure to also check out IFT's Brain Food Blog where Chef Gand answers questions about her career.
Here's the complete recipe for Lydia's Austrian Stuffed Shortbread.
Lydia's Austrian Stuffed Shortbread
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup raspberry or other jam
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 X 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix well.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter/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 chill at least 2 hours or overnight (or frozen as long as a month, if you like).
- Remove one ball of dough from the fridge and coarsely grate the dough into the bottom of the lined baking pan. Make sure the surface is covered evenly.
- With a spoon or spatula, spread the jam over the surface, to within ½-inch of the edge all the way around.
- Remove the remaining dough from the fridge and coarsely grate it over the entire surface.
- Bake until light golden brown, 30–40 minutes. As soon as the shortbread comes out of the oven, dust with confectioner’s sugar.
- Cool on a wire rack, lift the shortbread out, and cut into squares with a serrated knife.
Q: Is there a brand of butter you like to use?
Gale Gand: No. Butter is pretty much all the same—it’s 82% butterfat content because the FDA controls it. So really, there isn’t much difference between a brand that’s charging $4.50 versus a brand that’s charging $2.50. That’s one place where I save money, and it doesn’t seem to impact the quality of whatever I am making. My favorite brand is whatever’s on sale and then I buy a lot and stockpile it.
Q: Are there any other recommendations for “stuffing” besides jam? Perhaps chocolate or something?
Gand: I think you could probably use Nutella or anything spreadable, really, so peanut butter or any fruit filling. For example, there are those cans of prune and apricot that aren’t jams—there’re fillings for cookies and pies. Anything that you can smear will work in the shortbread.
Q: Can the dough be used in savory applications too?
Gand: Because of the sugar content, I don’t think I would use this version of the dough with savory. However, I think if you took out a lot of the sugar—you might still leave a tablespoon in—you could convert it to a savory shortbread dough. I would maybe even introduce some more salt, some pepper, and some dried herbs or something. I think it’s a cool idea, but you would need to pull back the sugar.
Q: How long can the dough last in the freezer?
Gand: I can attest to it being fine even after six months. As long as you’re wrapping it—I double wrap it in plastic—it’s fine because it’s such a low-moisture dough.