austrian raspberry shortbread

If there is anything I am always on the prowl for–besides artichokes, cookie cutters and green anything–it is variations on classic recipes. It’s a sticky thing, of course, because the originals earned their prized state for being blissful the way they are. But I can’t help it–I see a twist, a curve, a departure, or in this case, once again, a grater and I can’t resist.

austrian raspberry shortbreadaustrian raspberry shortbreadaustrian raspberry shortbreadaustrian raspberry shortbread

In my mind, there are few cookie combinations as satisfying as a butter cookie with raspberry, and whether you make them into bars, sandwiches or thumbprints.

But all varieties have a certain density that attracts shortbread-junkies like me, but repels those who want a less weighty cookie experience. This recipe magically ingratiates itself to both parties with the help of a food processor.

austrian raspberry shortbread

Get this: you grate half the cookie dough into a fluffy pillow of shortbread threads, spread raspberry jam over the whole layer of bedding and then blanket the second half of gratings over the jam. Resist all urges to pat them down–and trust me, it will be tempting–because the heat of the oven will weld the bits together into a cohesive, solid shortbread cookie bar which manages to remain airier than the traditional variety.

austrian raspberry shortbread

I brought them to a party a couple weeks ago, along with the peanut butter cookies, chocolate pretzel cookies and the world-famous World Peace Cookies and they stole the show. I didn’t know that anything could put World Peace in a corner–certainly not Austria–but there they were, nya-nya-ing their cookie tin competitors. I beamed with baker pride.

austrian raspberry shortbread

One year ago: Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Tart/Tarte au Chocolat and Marzipan

Austrian Raspberry Shortbread
Adapted from Butter Sugar Flour Eggs via Epicurious, which explains the cookie’s back story

I made several adaptations to the original recipe. The first was that although the shortbread is wonderful plain, it is it, indeed, plain. I think a little lemon zest, a splash of vanilla or even both would work deliciously in the dough, and against the raspberry. The suggested baking time is almost half of what I needed to get them solidified and lightly golden in the oven–mine took an hour, in the end, and I do not suggest you take them out before they truly look done. Finally, I knew immediately that raspberry jam could not be spread over a pile of cookie shards, and plopped it into a piping bag with a big tip instead. A zip-lock bag with a 1/2-inch corner cut off would work as well. If your jam is particularly thick, you might want to heat it briefly to liquefy it slightly, though my seedless variety didn’t require this. Finally, with this especially (but also, all bar cookie and brownies), I find that they’re much easier to make clean cuts in when thoroughly chilled in the fridge.

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
4 egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional additions: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 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.

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 degrees.

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 (oops, sorry, no). Make sure the surface is covered evenly with shreds of dough.

With a piping bag with a wide tip or a zip-lock bag with the corner cut off, squeeze the jam over the surface as evenly as possible, 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 and the center no longer wiggles, 50 to 60 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. I find that for this an all bar cookies, chilling the pan in the fridge makes it a lot easier to get clean cuts.

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172 comments on austrian raspberry shortbread

    1. Monica

      >Sorry posted this on the wrong section – first timer!<

      I made the Austrian Raspberry Shortbread on the weekend and they were – without a doubt – one of the best things I’ve ever made. Thank you Deb!

      Wondering about experimenting next time with half the quantity of butter – 250g instead of half a kilo. Has anyone tried this?

      1. deb

        Half the butter but the same of everything else? It wouldn’t work. But if you want to halve the whole recipe and bake it in a smaller pan, it will.

  1. OMG These were sooooo good. Out of all the cookies you brought to my x-mas party, these were the best. The peanut butter ones were my second favorite. Damn it! I want one right now!

  2. I know the feeling, we make the same batch of Christmas cookies every year. They’re great, but I’d love to experiment. I think I may have to coerce my brother into letting us try this recipe this year, they look delicious! I have to say though, one of my personal favorites is Neiman Marcus Cookies, like chewy drop chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal and nuts. Yummmm.

  3. oooh yumyumyum!!! I am very excited to try this.

    Although I’m still disappointed that I can’t get the world peace cookies to work : ( they just crumble into bits for me

  4. Erin

    Okay, I had *just* decided I was Done (capital D intentional) with Christmas baking, due to having far too many cookies around, even after throwing a party and giving away three gigantic plates of them, and sending another big plate to work with my husband.

    But! These sound so awesome that I will be making a half-batch tonight!

  5. Farrah

    These look fabulous…..and now I am wishing that I had enough time in my busy holiday baking schedule to squeeze in one more item. *sigh* I did make your espresso chocolate shortbread cookies last night, Deb – with the suggested chocolate toffee chips – and they are AMAZING! My husband and co-workers are thanking you right now!

  6. These are pretty and look like they would taste fantastic with a cup of coffee. Yum. I can’t make anymore cookies this season, though. I’m getting out of hand at this point. :-)

  7. Completely random and off topic… Sorry, but I need HELP from one of my favorite food bloggers.
    I need a recipe for fudge. It’s my father’s favorite thing, but I can’t seem to get it right. Mine always comes out all grainy and nasty, and I want to make him some.
    Bonus points if I can include walnuts…

  8. Erin

    Hi Deb, thanks for all the great cookie recipes! I’m pretending that the impending holidays are over, thinking ahead to our trip to Aruba in February, and hoping that you will give us a good trip report after you get back!!

  9. I feel like baking everything you posted, only me and my family don’t need to eat it! I really need to make a party — a dessert party and bake all these fancy fun recipes! Then I can have boxes at the ready to give at the end of the night to all my guests! I REALLY WANT TO MAKE A PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Celeste

    I made something just like this only slightly fussier from a recipe in Gourmet magazine a few years ago. The difference was that instead of a whole crust top, you would roll out the top and then cut shapes to float over the jam layer. They showed stars of different sizes floating for a July 4th picnic, but I think it would be lovely for Valentine’s Day with hearts, too.

    Yours is faster and I think probably a little less messy to pick up and eat, though.

  11. This sounds delicious to a raspberry lover. Can’t wait to try them. Know what else you might like if you like these? A recipe from Food & Wine a few years back for a cookie that looks almost identical to this except that the dough is made with ground almonds. The recipe give you the buttery goodness of shortbread plus some lightness — all with the added bonus of the toasty almond flavor to complement the whole raspberries. YUM.

  12. d

    The mail-order cookie company I used to work for made these exact bars in raspberry and apricot flavors – grating the shortbread made quick work for lots of bars- and the dough holds FANTASTIC in the freezer for months. BTW Jessica – my favorite fudge can be found on the jar of FLUFF! Its delicious, though on the sweeter side, and never grainy, and you can go hogwild with the nuts. You can find the recipe at Fluff’s website and substitute Kraft marshmallow creme, which is more widely available around the country.

  13. I’ve made a recipe similar to this several times, only this version is made with a home made rhubarb jam. I think it’s a Martha Stewart recipe from years ago. I love the idea of the grated shortbread. It’s such a fun way to make these bars and the results are so unexpected. I may have to try them again with raspberry jam.

  14. Erin

    OK, I have made them, I have tasted them, I have seen Heaven.

    These are GOOOOOOD, folks. Really good. And, actually, very simple and easy to make. (Although I did worry that running our food processor at 10:30p last night might wake our neighbors’ little girl. But they are worth it!)

    Delicious, delicious, Deb. Thank you!

  15. Casalea

    I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for years! How did you use the food processor? Did you use the grating blade for the frozen dough?

  16. Jessica

    I am totally making these tonight – originally,the plan had been to make mini loaves of banana bread and pumpkin bread to be wrapped up and given to friends, but the breads have just been preempted – it’s going to be these and the peanut butter! Yum!

  17. Erin

    Casalea–since Deb’s living it up in Aruba, I thought I’d let you know that yes–I used the grating blade for the frozen dough. My dough had been in the freezer over 12 hours at that point, though, and I’m new to food processing, so I let it relax a bit on the counter before putting it through the processor. Just don’t let it relax too long or it won’t be hard enough to grate! :)

  18. VuDo Brew

    I made these last night! I did a 1/2 & 1/2 putting raspberry on one side and apricot on the other. I used sugar free jam – which didn’t seem make any difference in the finished product. NOTES: I only had to freeze the dough for 2 hours like Deb suggested. I used a greater and it worked well, although at my 5′ 2″ with-shoes-on stature I had to use a foot stool to get enough leverage to get the work done. When I do this again I will line the pan with parchment paper with a few inches left over on each side – this will allow me to pull out the cookies & transfer them to a cutting board for cleaner cuts. It took me 50 minutes in a convection oven. THESE ARE AWESOME!

  19. deb

    Jessica — Sorry! I haven’t made it before, but I hope to, soon, so I will be hoping for suggestions from other commenters as well! … And: thank you Rachael!

    Casalea — Yes, I used the grating blade and the food processor made short work of the frozen dough. It was entirely undaunted by how hard the dough got. If you are hand-grating, it might be best not to freeze it, just refrigerate it, and to do it in smaller batches because inevitably, the part in your hand will get soft and difficult to grate. In addition, there will be a piece at the end that will be impossible to grate without taking your fingertips with you (the hand grating, this is) and you can either tear this into the tiniest bits possible or cool it again and try to chop it. Good luck!

  20. Susie

    These are wonderful! The shortbread melts in your mouth. I got frisky and added some raspberry chipotle sauce into the jam. It gave it a nice flavor with just a hint
    of heat.

  21. Belle Rita

    I have been making this recipe for years; it’s in the Baking with Julia cookbook and there they are called Hungarian shortbread. I don’t bother grating the dough anymore. I just pat it in the pan, put the jam over it, and put dollops of the rest of the dough on the top. Pretty and delicious. I use all flavors of jam. Just depends on what’s available in the house.

  22. I just made these last night and they turned out lovely! I don’t believe 1 cup of jam is quite enough, though. I wasn’t able to get the jam over the entire layer of dough.

    I had a tiny jar of lemon curd lying around so I used a little of that. But there was STILL space left, so I found some apricot/orange jam from SaraBeth. All three flavors are tasty and the lighter shortbread is a treat.

  23. Sophia

    Made them last night and they were delicious! They were a little too sugary for me, even without the powdered sugar, but that’s obviously a matter of personal preference. I also agree with Deidre that more than 1 cup of jam was probably needed.

    Still, with three people in the house, I only have a half-batch left less than 24 hours later. Will definitely make these again!

  24. magic baker

    loved, loved, loved these bars–i’ve made them twice to rave reviews. but here is a question…why would you shape the dough into “discs” instead of “logs?” it was much easier to feed the logs through my food processor than breaking off pieces of the disc. any comment?

  25. Debby

    Made these last month for a reception and they were incredible…however, I did destroy my food processor….the first log I sent through the chute grated fine, but while doing the subsequent logs (which i had frozen overnight the central post of the processor melted, and I grated the rest by hand. Next time (with the new Cuisinart) I will either do the two-hour thing, or let them soften a bit. I needed way more jam to spread an even coat…used the whole jar, and then I overbaked them and ended up scraping off some of the bottom layer….but even those disasters couldn’t ruin this recipe…they were a hit!

  26. Kristina Kersey

    I had been wanting to make these for awhile after seeing Gale do them on FoodTV, but weren’t satisfied with the instruction or reviews on that site to confidentally bake it. Some of Gale’s recipes don’t always turn out without a lot of editing – her millionaire shortbread for one.
    So.. when I came across your site and the step by step with gorgeous pictures, I could wait no longer. I followed your instruction to the letter. Opting for the vanilla instead of lemon this time around. I even shaped the dough into 2 equal logs so that it would fit in the tube of my old Hamilton Beach food processor, then froze overnight. They grated up beautifully – I would say appx. 12 cups of shreds.
    Your trick to use the pastry bag for the jam was perfect! I used a disposable one left over from my cake decorating class – filled it with raspberry preserves and just snipped the end. Next time I will use 1.5 cups of the expensive gourmet preserves. Probably blueberry next time, and go with the lemon juice. I might even add some zest. All in all, what makes this recipe so special is the final outcome vs. the actual work. The pan was devoured at work and they are already begging for more.

  27. RZH

    Oh, I can highly recommend these as well. This might be my favorite cookie ever. I followed the recipe to the letter and had a very elegant result. It tasted rich and luxurious, sliced perfectly and kept well for days just piled on a covered cake stand in my hot New York kitchen. I can’t wait to make it in a large tart pan, as a crostada, for a dinner party. Deb, you know how to pick them.

  28. diane

    I made your shortbread yesterday after reading the interesting method of grating the dough.I made half the recipe, grated by hand and everything came out great except I find it to be way too sweet ,it is a good recipe and will make it again but with less sugar for me. I use the egg whites to make your marshmallow frosting(frist time making it ) and left it in the fridge overnite. there sre some liquid at the bottom today, wonder if I need to re whipped it or it’s fine the way it is ?

  29. I’d just like to warn anyone considering this recipe. They’re delicious, but I don’t know that they’re that much more delicious than a regular raspberry bar with ungrated dough. And grating the dough is a true pain in the @ss. If you have limited time or energy, you might want to skip this whole grating thing.

  30. janet k.

    I made these yesterday. While they browned nicely on top the final layer was a bit doughey. As they cooled over nite,I just sliced them and popped them back in the oven for a bit this am. They are fine now. They are buttery and very light tasting. Spoiled: I would have to agree that the grating was a pain in the @**. Next time I will skip. Overall I would make these cookies again.

  31. Tawnia

    I just made these for the first time also and I have to add a word about the grating–if you have a food processor–grate away!! It took about 30 seconds and worked like a dream–far better than trying to press it into a pan, however, I can certainly understand that if grating by hand–no time or effort is saved. They are delicious and I would certainly make them again. Deb, as a long time follower of your site (although I mainly lurk and make the recipes), you do a wonderful job of explaining techniques. I realize you probably hear that everyday and that is ONE of the reasons your blog is so popular, but I just wanted to take the time to thank you. Happy Holidays!

  32. Elizabeth

    @spoiled, janet and Tawnia, I agree with your comments. I made these today, hoping that they would be worth the effort. It took me half an hour to grate both layers. I had to put an extra cup of jam over the base because 1 cup only covered half the dough. The end result in my opinion is far too sweet. When they cool I might have a different opinion, but now, I think in the future I will just pat the dough in the pan so I can easily spread the jam over the entire layer of dough. I never felt that shortbread was too heavy anyway, so I probably wouldn’t miss the lightness of the grated dough. Bottom line, recipe is good but not sure the grating makes enough of a difference to justify the effort.

  33. DebM

    Deb, I finally got around to making these last weekend – probably the best thing I have EVER baked! I didn’t have a lemon around so I used a little vanilla, but after I put it in, I got to thinking almond extract might also have been good… wondered if you’d tried that?
    I was going to swear off baking for a while, but today I see your coconut shortbread recipe that I can’t wait to try ;)

  34. nath

    i loved these cookies!made them from epicurious a year ago. my only complaint is the grating is sooo tedious.quite the workout!

  35. Symphonic Chef

    I just made these for a bbq (it’s summer here in New Zealand!) and everyone raved about them. I followed the recipe exactly except I added frozen raspberries along with the raspberry jam. they were soo yum. What do you expect when you use 4 sticks of butter? :)

  36. Hayley

    Mmm these turned out even better than expected. I did make the following changes though.
    Followed recipe except used only 1 cup sugar instead of 2. Rolled the dough into 2 inch thick logs. Put in the freezer overnight. Grated with the appropriate attachment for my kitchenaid, took about 20 minutes. Put just over a cup of raspberry jam in between the layers, half no sugar added and half regular. Added some lemon zest at the last minute and proceeded to almost take a finger off in the process. Popped them in the oven for 50 mins and came out perfectly.

  37. E

    LOVE these. One of my go-to recipes for pretty much every occasion. For everyone who complained about the effort needed to grate the dough, you simply need to toss it in a food processor–it takes about 30 seconds and it comes out perfectly. I also use almond extract, which compliments the raspberry jam nicely.

  38. Riikka

    I made these (with vanilla extract) and the lemon bars for my art exhibition opening last week. They were gone in an hour! This was my favorite, although the lemon bars were also good. But these – YUM! Everything just came together to form something divine. And yet, so simple. Thanks!

  39. longtimebaker

    I wonder why you never even give a hint as to the yield that your recipes produce. Those of us who are have baked for years like to know what the recipe will be produce, Your pictures, while beautiful, give no indication of size and one has bake a recipe to get a yield. Most of the finest recipe writers will give some indication of size and quantity. What am I missing here about your reasoning?

  40. longtimebaker

    Let me ad to my comment that I know the yield from a 9×13 pan but it from some of your drop and bake cookies that I would like to see a size and yield.

  41. deb

    Honestly, I never know how others are going to cut their cookie bars or how big they like their drop cookies. I like things very tiny. I actually cut these into 1-inch squares!

  42. hannah

    so i made these at school. sort of.
    with my limited college kitchen resources, it made more sense to make a simpler shortbread. (what am i going to do with 2 & 4 half eggs?).
    but with a simple butter-sugar-flour dough (+ some almond extract, which i always have around), and digging into my Pb&J supplies, all i need is to pick up some butter (which all gets used) and i can make cookies in my dorm room then take a little walk across campus to an oven with just a 9×13 pan.
    and this was a way easier way to bake cookies in the little space i got- no clean counterspace needed for rolling out dough!
    and they were totally a hit, however, now that i’m home, i tried your shortbread, with the vanilla and lemon zest, and let me say, it was twenty times more awesome! definitely more moist and less dense.
    so i might have to find a use for the egg whites next time i’m at school : )
    or at least use baking powder.

  43. Hi Deb,

    I made this last night and tonight but my results were completely different.

    Disclaimer: I used earth balance buttery sticks as I am dairy sensitive and halved the recipe.

    The shortbread layers got too thick maybe half recipe was too much for an 8″x8″ pan? Also, the jam “bled” through the flour so it looks like I have a thick layer of jam in the middle.

    As for the sugar content, it was too sweet for my taste. It could be that my jam was on the sweet side. I used homemade blueberry jam.

    I would love to try this again next time but not sure how to improve it. I guess stick to the original recipe?

  44. Elena

    This was amazing! Since I only had a hand grater I froze the dough in 4 pieces to make it easier. I’m making these again but with blueberry jam! Cut very small these melt in your mouth. Thank Deb!

  45. Pari

    I have been eye-balling this recipe since Thanksgiving and finally giving it a whirl. Dough is prepped and will be baking in the morning. Will update with final product, but I have tried other recipes from your site and they have all turned out fantastic. Cannot wait to taste these. :)

  46. Pari

    Final product turned out wonderful. When I grated with a food processor the first half, the dough seemed to mush a bit together. So I made sure on the next one to grate a little and then lay it out and continued on. I used a bit more preserves. The bars came out perfect. Light and airy dough made the bars a bit big, but they turned out great and the flavor is just perfect. I would definitely make this again maybe with strawberry jam next time.

  47. Patricia

    Made these, wrapped them up good and tight, and sent them to a friend deployed out in the Middle East. They made it there in perfect condition, and are apparently a huge hit. :) Thanks for the great and super-easy recipe!

  48. Alicia

    I made these cookies yesterday and I think they turned out really well. I’m a sucker for shortbread and these hit the spot. They got lots of good reviews at work today as well. Here’s what I’ll remember for next time:
    1. For those of us who don’t use our food processors very much (the clean up KILLS me) remember to consider the feed tube size when you make your balls of dough, I painstakingly cut the dough with a knife to get the size small enough to fit. This easily could have been avoided by making more and smaller dough balls to freeze.
    2. My grater is more fine than coarse and I got TWO pans of cookies an 11in tart and a 9×9 as everything was so fluffy.`
    3. Based on #2, I used an 18oz jar of jam rather than one cup.
    4. To avoid excessive sweetness, I would get no sugar added jam, but that’s never been a problem for me.
    Back to nibbling…

  49. Kerry

    My mother makes a similar adaptation, but it’s referred to as Hungarian Shortbread, and she uses Strawberry jam…and at a recent farmers market find she used cherry/ pear preserves and cranberry orange marmalade…both of which were absolutely delish!

  50. Judi

    I’ve made these cookies a few times, and they are a “big hit”! I always use the food processor, and it’s really quick. The last time I made them, I took the liberty of sprinkling a 1/2 bag of the mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels over the raspberry jam, and they were scrumptious!

  51. Stacey

    Hi, Deb! These look and sound amazing. I’d like to try something similar but with chocolate dough and cherry jam. Do you think the world peace cookie dough would work?

  52. Stacey

    Me again. I made a batch using the World Peace cookie dough (1 1/2 times the recipe in an 8X8 pan) and cherry preserves. Very tasty, indeed.

  53. Deanna B

    To add some flavor to the dough, I subbed out some of the flour (1 cup maybe) for almond meal and added vanilla and almond extracts. Sooo good.

  54. Vanna

    I’ve been prowling the site for a while now and have found some recipes that I’m head over heels in love with- those peanut butter cookies? Mmmm. I don’t even like peanut butter and I had to keep myself from eating a whole tray! Anyhow, I decided to give this recipe a try and thought the freeze-then-grate technique was a pretty nifty idea. My end result was done in about 45 min. and was nicely browned, but the shortbread layers were particularly crumbly- so much that it was difficult to slice after chilling. I’m guessing it’s because I used too much flour when rolling the dough out into discs, but lesson learned! I think that this would actually be a GREAT technique to use for pie crusts, however, seeing as it might give it a nice flaky texture if you used a wide-holed grater. Hmmmm.

  55. Joana

    Hi Deb! I think you’ll be happy to know that I made these for our company’s annual cookie competition and won first place. Thanks for the recipe!

  56. Courtney

    Yum!! This recipe is great!! I messed it up at first and only added 1 stick of butter, reading the recipe as 1 stick instead of 1 pound. I didn’t realize until I’d added everything but it still turned out incredibly!! I grated mine by hand because i hate washing my food processors and it was a work up!! It took the entire 60 minutes for mine to be done to perfection. Amazing!! Thanks for another keeper Deb!!

  57. Talin Gebbia

    I was intimidated by this recipe, the shredding and all….but, I just had to try it, the dough, pre-baked smelled amazing, coming out of the oven, it looks perfect, and I cannot wait to cut it up and serve it on Christmas Day!

  58. Talin Gebbia

    Amy, tasted it, OMG!!!! Dense rich scrumptious!!!! Definitely a one-biter! It made so much too, I will def save you a piece, thank you for turning me onto Smitten Kitchen! I love you!

  59. Regina

    I made these today and they are sooo good and so pretty too! Very delicate and absolutely addicting. I tried using both the manual grating and food processor methods. The food processor took seconds, wins hands down! The cleanup took a lot less time than it would have taken to grate the entire thing by hand. The frozen dough balls were too large for the feed tube but a sharp chef’s knife sliced right through the frozen mass. I also added vanilla and lemon extracts (didn’t have lemons on hand) but what took it to another level was a bit of almond extract. Baked it for 1 hour and was a little too crumbly so will try slightly less time in the oven next time. Thanks, Deb, for another great recipe!!

  60. MrsJourns

    These went down very well in our house. I grated the dough by hand, but didn’t fully freeze the dough, and it was really quick and easy. The only change I’ll make next time is to reduce the sugar as I found it a little too sweet, however my boys weren’t complaining.

  61. Sarah

    I just made these for a dinner party and they were a huge hit. Great tip to pipe the jam. Also, after thinking I’d eaten enough for a lifetime when they were fresh from the oven, I refrigerated them and went at it again this morning. Like a lot of cookies, they’re even better cold!

  62. Tracy

    Hi! Love Smitten Kitchen. Here’s my question. I want to know if all the bars…Raspberry, Blueberry and Peach can be made ahead to finish, and then frozen. I’m really involved at church with providing food for events. It’s not that I’m too lazy to make them all in one day, but I do have to provide other hot dishes that are time consuming as well. If I can freeze them, should I slice them first? Thank you so much!!

    1. deb

      Tracy — Just about all buttery cookie bars freeze well. I’d say that these will do so best, followed by the blueberry, followed by the peach. I would slice them first, pack them in tightly between layers of waxed paper in a very well-sealed container.

  63. Karen

    Just made these tonight. I split the batch in two and made one exactly according to the recipe, but added dark chocolate chips to the second one (I scattered them over the jam). They’re pretty dang good if I don’t say so myself. Got a little dark on the sides, but the bottoms are good.

  64. Steve

    Wow! Really special. Made them with gluten free flour and have become the new holiday favorite of the family. Great with addition of 1c choc chips, too.

  65. These are genius! The dough holds in the freezer until you need it and they look just beautiful and taste even better. I made them most recently with half raspberry, half cranberry sauce and they were fabulously Christmas-y. Love them!

  66. SO delicious– a little on the too-sweet side for me, so next time I may cut down on the sugar, since I think the jam I used was pretty sugary. Didn’t add lemon zest or vanilla to the crust, and I agree that it does taste a little plain (though still yummy).

  67. raeban99

    Made these with Polish plum butter. Not to sweet….perfection. Love this recipe. Made as is for my sister’s baby shower for a dessert tray on each table. These were really a favorite!

  68. Tiffany

    I just made these and can’t get enough…so so so delicious! This was the first time I heard of grating the dough (I’ve grated frozen butter but never the dough) so wasn’t sure how it would it turn out, but they turned out great – mmmm! Only change was using boysenberry jam instead of raspberry, but that’s just a personal preference. Like all the yummy things I’ve tried out from your blog, this is another keeper. Thanks!

  69. Amy

    I just made these for a dinner party today. I like the shortbread texture that results from grating it. Sometimes I find traditional shortbread kind of greasy, but this one is not. I added vanilla to the dough and flavor-wise I agree with other posters that it’s too sweet. In hindsight, lemon probably would have been better. I didn’t powder the top yet. I don’t have any lemons on hand right now, but am going to try grating the rind over the top of the finished shortbread. I bet this would taste great with a small dollop of lemon or lime curd and some Earl Grey tea.

  70. Gail

    I made these for today’s office Christmas Cookie Contest and…. (drumroll, please) they were the winners! I did add the suggested lemon zest and used raspberry jam — lovely combo. I can see them on a tray of sweets at a proper ladies’ tea as well. My food processor’s feed tube is rather narrow so I rolled the dough into logs before freezing vs. shaping into balls. Worked out fine. Thanks, Deb!!

  71. dee

    Sounds like a great improvement on my “Raspberry Squares.” These were formerly Aunt Sis’s Raspberry Squares and now are “Aunt Dee’s Raspberry Squares!”Each generation gets its due.

    Here’s my big question and its a question for all these great holiday cookies. I have a lactose intolerant family member who is important to us all and who loves Christmas cookies. So I trot out the Earth Balance. And it’s o.k. but. . . Can you suggest good general substitutions? Or am I forever stuck making cookies that would be great with butter into less great cookies made with butter substitute? Others have this problem?

    1. deb

      linda — I think it would be very difficult if it were frozen. (Or at least with mine, a standard one from OXO.) If defrosted, maybe, but it also risks being so soft that it merges into one dough blob and defeats the purpose of breaking it up into strands.

  72. Nicki

    Just made these and did not have a piping bag, so instead, I warmed the jam for about 20 seconds on low in the microwave, using a glass measuring cup with a spout, then stirred it well with a spoon until smooth. Jam poured easily and evenly right over the dough.

  73. I just read through all the comments to see if anyone had any issues putting this recipe into a 10″ tart pan. BECAUSE I DID.

    I grated the first disc into my tart pan w/ the removable bottom and the dough was just about spilling over. I was concerned because you still need to add the filling AND another whole grated disc.

    I was confused. What was I missing?

    So, I decided to dump the first grated disc into a 13 x 9 followed by the jam and the other grated disc and all ingredients fit nicely.

    Deb – Have you really baked this recipe in a tart pan?? My tart pan is 10″ from William’s Sonoma & it’s 1″ deep.

  74. deb

    Hi Becki — I’m not sure why this has never come up before or why I just blindly assumed it would work (I always make these in the 9×13) but you’re right — a 10-inch round tart pan would definitely not be sufficient to hold this amount of dough/filling. It would be easily 1.4x what would fit… Or, you’d need a taller pan, at least 2 inches of wall height. Anyway, I’m so sorry that you had to be the one to figure this out first. I’m going to edit that suggestion right out of the recipe now. I hope you were able to salvage it into a larger pan or two smaller ones.

  75. Holly

    I just made these for one last hurrah before I start eating really healthy stuff tomorrow. Oh, what a hurrah it was! I doubled, maybe even almost tripled, the salt, which may be why I did not find the dough one bit boring.

    farewell, sugar and butter! I’ll miss you!

  76. Ann

    I had some blueberry jam languishing in the fridge, and I took what you said about the dough being plain to heart, so I added vanilla extract, blood orange zest, and 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon. It turned out glorious! Thanks so much for the great recipe! I did have a hard time trying to use the shredding disk in my food processor with the large dough balls, though, so next time I might try freezing the dough in smaller disk shapes.

  77. This recipe looks amazing! To make this in an 8×8 instead of the 9×13, could I just cut all the ingredients in half? Also, can you hazard a guess to the baking time in an 8×8 pan? Thank you!

    1. deb

      Yes, halve everything. Hard to accurately guess the baking time but it’s usually way more than half the estimated, maybe just 10 minutes shy of the full time. Best to keep an eye on it rather than accidentally wrecking all of your hard work by burning it. :(

  78. Fudar

    Hi! Love your site & book- I would love to make these for work but I’m a little confused on the butter measurements? I’m in the UK, so I normally take 1 cup butter= 1 standard block here (225g) but I thought that 1 cup was 2 sticks? This recipe is 1lb- 4 sticks, if I convert 1lb butter I get 1018g, or four UK blocks- help! I’m fine with doing everything in cups normally, I have standard cup measurements, I’m just thrown by the butter measurement- do I use 2 or 4 cups? Thanks!

  79. Fudar

    Thanks for clearing that up so quickly for me, I don’t know why my converter was giving me the wrong quantities! I’m definitely giving these a go tomorrow, Friday at work is always Cookie Friday. Thanks again!

  80. Fudar

    Just thought I should update & say I did make these and they turned out fantastically! I froze the dough in thin logs so that I could grate them with my food processor and it worked perfectly, the dough was ready to be baked in minutes. Thanks for the help!

  81. Leah

    Made these this weekend – I don’t know that anything I have ever baked received such rave reviews. I misread the recipe and refrigerated the dough overnight (rather than freezing), but they turned out great. Added the lemon zest, no vanilla, to the dough, and the play of the citrus against the raspberry was amazing. Take Deb’s advice and don’t attempt to cut these until they are cold in the fridge – they were super difficult to cut cleanly at room temperature.

  82. Suzanne

    Hi Deb!

    I love these so, so much. They’re so easy to make and they are a serious hit anytime I bake them. My brother in law thinks they’re so great that I actually made him some for his Christmas present this year.

    The helpful hint I wish had been in the recipe right from the start is that, while you CAN freeze the dough longer than 2 hours (the perfect amount of time), leaving it in the freezer overnight makes it so cold and hard it feels like you’re breaking your food processor to grate it, and i would imagine that grating by hand would be nearly impossible. When I leave the dough in the freezer overnight, I microwave it for a minute on 10% power and then it is the perfect consistency to shred.

    Thanks again for a great recipe!!

    1. Karen Lauterwasser

      I agree. My refrigerator’s freezer compartment no longer works, so I put the dough in my dedicated freezer (which is very cold – probably around zero degrees F). My food processor was up to the challenge of this dough – sort of. Instead of getting shreds of dough I ended up with something that was a heap of fluffy bits. It barely fit in the pan, height-wise. They seem to have baked up all right, though it seems I have quite a thickness of dough – makes me think I should have tried using a pan with more square area, though that could certainly cause problems of its own. I used a little more jam than called for (needed it cover the crust). And I should have run a knife around the edge when the pan came from the over – even though I used a parchment sheet below, that action would have helped with removal from the pan.

  83. maggie

    I think I found the source of the tart-pan confusion. I saw an earlier version of the Dorie Greenspan recipe (she wrote the one in Baking With Julia) that she called for a 10-inch SPRINGFORM pan, not 10-inch tart pan. With its tall walls, a springform would probably work just fine if you wanted a round, tart-like shape.

  84. Gracey

    Just finished making these this morning. They are wonderful and not difficult at all, especially if you use a food processor to grate the dough. Be warned though, the dough is quite heavy. When mixing this dough, my mixer seized up. I have been mixing with that Kitchenaid mixer for over 35 years and never has that happened to me. It couldn’t complete the last part of the mixing as the dough was just too difficult to get through. I ended up kneading it by hand for a few minutes, just to incorporate everything. Also, next time I will form the dough balls so that they can easily fit into my food processor feed tube after freezing. Wonderful taste and texture. I used both vanilla extract and lemon zest. Great taste! Thanks

  85. Karen C

    I brought these for the cookie exchange at work. OMG. They blew everything else out of the water. I then made the mistake of leaving the few leftovers home with my ratfink husband who didn’t even leave one for me :-( I’ll definitely be making another batch for some Christmas gifts.

    1. Laura

      just made this! texture is delectable!! i added orange zest and vanilla (didn’t have a lemon). next time i will triple the zest, add more raspberry filling. and prob not put sugar in top. a tad too sweet for me although maybe more filling and zest will cut the sweetness. Will def make again, though.

  86. bswnyca

    Would it have worked if I lined the baking dish with parchment paper? I didn’t and somehow some jam ended up on the bottom and stuck. I weighed the dough in grams and halved it before freezing so each was equal. It took effort to slice when cold but there were no crumbs on top as there were on the other half that I cut when cooled. I would have had more leverage had I been able to slide it on to a cutting board but since some of it was sticking I didn’t dare try. Yes to zest and vanilla. Taste awesome – can’t go wrong with that much butter. Thanks

    1. deb

      Yes. I’m surprised I didn’t find it necessary. These days (this is a much older recipe on the site), I pretty much line all baking pans with parchment because you have absolutely nothing to lose, I figure. I’m glad you were able to enjoy them.

  87. Janet

    Just made this. I grated about 1/2 the bottom crust on a grater….wayyyy too much muscle needed. Wasn’t sure my food processor would survive frozen dough, but I hacked it up and it worked fine. Yummy!

  88. Katie

    I made these yesterday. I did add a teaspoon of vanilla. I found my dough frozen enough to shred after about 90 minutes in the freezer.

    Oh my gosh, these are so wonderful! I mean, I expected them to be, since you and the readers had such high praise for them, but wow! My father, who states that desserts aren’t worth eating unless they include chocolate, ate several. He claimed them “one of the best desserts I’ve had!”

    I can see how these will steal the show no matter where you take them. When I was making them I very briefly considered cutting the recipe in half, but now I am so glad to have an entire 9 x 13″ pan of them!

  89. Dana

    These were delicious! I added both vanilla extract and lemon zest for flavor. Also, I modified the amount of sugar (used 1.25 cups instead of 2) and recommend using more than 1 cup of jam. Will definitely make again!

  90. Deb! I’m trying so hard to be good this holiday season. I don’t need to gain weight – I need to lose it. These recipes are killing me! Now this one shows up and I just know that I have all the ingredients here at home and my husband would love them BUT I would love them too…too much. I have no willpower when I see Smitten Kitchen on my home page! I will argue with myself tomorrow and let you know how they turn out.❤️

  91. Laura

    All in all, these were super fun to make. I used my standing mixer and the dough wasn’t really mixing toward the end. I had to knead the last of the flour mixture. I have the grater blade for my food processor and it made it really easy. I baked for 1 hour and 5 minutes and was worried that the edges were getting too brown so i took it out. The center is definitely underbaked but still tasty. I would def make them again but would bake longer. Also, they are really sweet. I think I’d cut the sugar to a cup and a half. I still think they’ll be hit. Thanks!

  92. Christine Baskin

    I bake about 1K cookies each holiday season. Some recipes are repeated each year while others come in and out. This season, these bars stole the show – and definitely are to be repeated in 2018. One of the easiest doughs to make & bar cookies to assemble. Never new about the grating technique. I opted for Stonewall Kitchen’s Kir Royale Brunch Jam which complemented the sweetness of the dough – and don’t skip on the powdered sugar dusting. Thank you, Deb, for another superb offer to your fans.

  93. Jocelyn

    I made these and they are hands down the best shortbread bar I’ve ever made! I could only chill the dough for an hour and that seemed to work fine. Maybe they’ll be better next time if I let it chill for 2! Bravo super good!

  94. Maura

    Can we talk about this recipe? I am NY-born, but have spent most if my life in Vienna, Austria. I have never seen any Austrian recipe using this technique (freezing, then grating the dough). Nevertheless, I decided to add these bars to my American cookie plate for my annual family reunion with my (Austrian) husband’s relatives. I found grating the frozen dough by hand a grueling and arduos process, but I don’t have a machine. It took me at least 20 min. to grate each half. The amount of dough also resulted in a much bigger panful than 9×13″, but I have an extendable pan, so that was OK. I just had to use more jam in the middle. In conclusion, these actually turned out to be some of the best cookies I have ever made! I have now added the recipe to my Christmas repertoire, but I will let a sous-chef do the grating next year! Thanks, Deb!

  95. Ellen Willis-Conger

    We took it to the party warm….I had greased the pan.
    As soon as I set it down the hostess started cutting squares and it was the HIT of the party.
    Eat warm!! YUM

  96. Lindsey

    Worth it! These bars exceed my expectations. I recommend adding the lemon and vanilla and cutting the sugar down by half. Will absolutely make again!

  97. Jo

    I love almond flavored cookies. Could I add almond extract to turn this into Rasberry Almond Shortbread? If so, how much should I add? Thank you!

  98. Beth

    Oh god oh god! I make these every year and they’re everyone’s favorite. I just made the dough for my second batch and then, two hours later, found the egg yolks that I never added. The half frozen dough is now siting out Waiting to have yolks mixed in. Think it’ll work?? Thank you!

  99. I’m totally delighted with the idea of making some delicious cookies by using the raspberry jam my aunt made last week. I’m currently running out of words how I can appreciate you for sharing this amazing recipe in such a perfect way. Please keep on updating your site with some more blogs, so I can satisfy my hunger with your recipes.

  100. Juliet

    Hi, Deb. This recipe doesn’t come up when you select the Raspberries tag through the recipes heading.
    Just trying to solve the world’s problems during a bout of insomnia. I’m torn between this raspberry shortbread (need more butter) and raspberry buttermilk cake (have everything). Decisions, decisions…
    PS – I have made this several times; it is always wonderful and always week received.

  101. Lucy

    Oh. My. I *think* I want to thank you for bringing these into my life. Much like you and the World Peace Cookies, I have had to put some distance between myself and the batch I made last night.

    Despite greasing the tin, I did find them difficult to get out, so will line with parchment next time. Or maybe not. Oh no! Another broken one! I’ll just have to……snaffle, snaffle…..

    I added a small amount of lemon zest as suggested. Totally delicious. Thank you!

  102. Bar

    Love these! Chewy and sweet and crumbly and buttery – yum! We liked eating them straight from the fridge, totally cold. I think that it makes the texture even more chewy and firm, which we liked. Thank you for the great recipe!

  103. Kate

    These are amazing and I almost always have some of the dough? Double wrapped in the freezer (it keeps extremely well for a few weeks!). But today I didn’t have my normal baking pan so I made individual shortbreads in a muffin tin! A little dollop of jam in the middle and the edges seal themselves so you have little jam shortbread cookies! They were a huge hit!

  104. Linda

    I have made these cookies many times. I have found that I have a hard time getting the bottom layer to cook completely through when made according to the recipe. Instead, I grate the dough for the bottom layer and spread it into the pan evenly without patting it down, then bake the bottom layer for 30 minutes. I then add the jam and the top layer and bake for another 40 minutes or so. As a bonus, because the bottom layer is partially cooked it’s easy to spread the jam.

  105. Norma Jaffe

    Two of our daughters, Hílary and Debbie, who live near each other on the North Shore of Long Island sent us a box of different sweets they baked from your website. Amazing. I copied the recipe for one and then tried to print it but nothing happened. HHEELLLLPPPPPP – thank you.
    PS it was the Austrian one with Apricot between the layers.

    1. deb

      There is a print icon that leads to a print template at the bottom of each recipe, where it says “DO MORE:” You can also click CTRL or ⌘ + P from any recipe post and it will take you to a streamlined print template. We

  106. Linda

    I made these tonight and did add vanilla. I think a little almond extract and some chopped nuts, like pecans or almonds would be good additions to the top crust.

    I made “jam” from some blueberries and strawberries that needed to be used, adding juice and zest from half an orange and then blended it smooth.

    Then, I assembled the recipe in a half sheet pan and it worked perfectly. The bars are likely quite a bit thinner than they would be in a 9×13 pan, but I think it’s a good balance.

    This is a winning recipe!!

  107. Sue

    I studied all comments and did the following: I used 1 tsp vanilla paste from Trader Joe’s. Added a really nice flavor. I used an entire jar of high end peach jam. So good. I rolled dough into thin rolls to fit into my food processor and put in the refrigerator overnight. They were pretty hard, so I didn’t put in the freezer. It grated really well. I left the other rolls in the refrigerator in between grating and worked quickly. I used spray and parchment in my 9×13. Cooked for a full hour. I think I must have put it in the refrigerator when it was too warm because the parchment stuck to the bottom of the cookie. I had to painstakingly use a very sharp knife to pry the parchment up and peel it off. They are so delicious and melt in your mouth, but I’m going to have to figure out the parchment sticking thing. Too much jam probably. Thanks for another keeper Deb.

  108. Maro

    These are fantastic – a huge hit of the holiday baking this year! Will definitely make again. I found it easy to pour warm jam over the bottom with a Pyrex measuring cup, and had no problem with the bottom baking up perfectly. Took I think right around 45-50 mins in my upper (small) oven and the edges got a little brown but it’s all delicious.

  109. June

    I made this a couple of times, with some tweaks. 1) There was too much dough, the bars were super thick. Scaling it back to 3 cups flour and everything else accordingly worked better, about 40 min adjusted bake time. 2) The piping method didn’t work for jam, I spread it with a spatula and needed about 2 cups not 1 to get it fully covered. 3) Dough in the fridge works too, and is easier to grate on a box grater than frozen.

  110. Tracy

    How do you prevent the powdered sugar from melting and disappearing when applying to the top while still warm? It never works for me, wondering what the secret is?

  111. Kate

    I made these in a 9×13 Pyrex pan and baked them for 60 minutes, but sadly, after cooling and cutting them the next day it was clear they were too underbaked to serve. I know sometimes glass pans take a bit longer… but it’s hard to tell when they are fully baked. Next time I will try the suggestion in the comments to bake half first before adding jam.
    I also agree that the grating by hand is a lot of work! After mixing (with a hand mixer) I had a very light crumbly dough that I could have sprinkled loosely into the pan. I’m curious if the chilling and grating step is even necessary?

  112. Not sure why mine were a massive fail. The jam went through the bottom layer and glued half of this to the bottom of the pan. The section that came out was so crumbly and soft that we ate it with a spoon. Not crisp at all, not cookie-like. Too soft and mushy.

  113. rzh

    I just made this for a dinner party in a very deep 11 inch tart pan and it might be one of my favorite dinner party desserts. It does need to be an extra deep pan, as the grated dough stands very tall before it bakes down. I got mine off Amazon.