Sunday, August 02, 2009

Recipes blatantly ignored

I got inspired to make Austrian Raspberry Shortbread on Smitten Kitchen. I love Smitten Kitchen for the photos as much as for the recipes, and she's always so inspiring. However, following recipes isn't exactly my forte, so in the end I came up with this.

Rhubarb-blueberry cake bar things. Yummy, if almost entirely different from the original recipe.

Here's how it went down.

Change #1: We had some rhubarb-blueberry jam in the fridge that needed using, so I grabbed that.

Change #2: My eyes bugged out at the amount of butter called for (1 pound): I halved the recipe to begin with and then halved the butter again, adding oil to compensate. At that point it was obvious these were destined not to be shortbread, but I was okay with that. For the record this is the first time in recent memory that I've used solid fat in my baking; I have a habit of substituting like a mad thing, consequences be damned.

Change #3: Egg yolks. I am far to lazy to separate egg whites from yolks, so I just used whole eggs, pretending that 1 egg is equivalent to 2 yolks. Not sure if that's legitimate math, but that's what I did.

Change #4: Instead of freezing the dough thoroughly, I was too impatient after putting it in for about 15 minutes, so I couldn't grate the dough into the pan. I spread it instead, neglecting to realize that spreading a second layer of dough on top of a layer of jam was ill-advised. It worked out after some careful spatula work, so no harm done.

Result: surprisingly delicious! They're a bit greasier than I would have liked, so next time I'll probably use less oil or maybe even take the plunge and use all butter. They aren't shortbread, but they have a pleasant dense crumbly texture, and they don't look like a total mess! (Compared to much of my baking experiments. I'm a fan of delicious messes anyway). I probably added a bit more lemon zest than called for as well - didn't measure, just grated half a lemon's worth - and it really helped the dough. Mmm lemon. More Smitten Kitchen in my future, and maybe I'll follow the recipe next time.

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