You know when you've been thinking about something (like food, or sex, or a movie or book) for a long time and building up anticipation and then you have it and sometimes it's not all you had hoped? (I think the only time that really has a chance of success is with sex, and even that can be iffy.) That happens to me a lot. It happened yesterday with some cookies, although I have high hopes for the future.
I had been thinking on and off about this Austrian Raspberry Shortbread ever since I first read about it a few months ago. I love me a good shortbread, and I liked the idea of a sort of lighter shortbread-y bar. And jam? Yum. But there was always something getting in the way of my making it: I didn't have time to let the dough sit in the fridge for two hours, I didn't have a good jam around, not enough eggs, no reason to make a large batch of hard-to-transport cookies, something. But last night we had a work potluck, and I decided it was time. (Also, frankly, I thought I'd have some raw milk butter hanging around, but that didn't work and wouldn't have been enough for the recipe anyway.)
The recipe was pretty minimally frustrating, as such things go. The dough was a pain but only because I don't have an electric hand mixer (yet! one of the good things that came from this was that I bitched about creaming butter by hand on facebook and now an acquaintance is giving me her brand-new unopened hand mixer), and grating said dough takes a little muscle, but it wasn't so bad. The end result had a lot of positives and negatives.
-Not very good for you, what with the pound of butter and four eggs and two cups of sugar
-Irritating to make without an electric mixer (or a food processor with a grater attachment, although that was far less of a problem)
-Not as fluffy as I'd hoped
-Tasted mostly like sugar
-A good place to use my homemade raspberry-blueberry jam from my Canadian friend Emma
-Got raves and impressed looks from my co-workers
-Tasted mostly like sugar
They were good, just not as good as I wanted them to be. The shortbread, frankly, seemed a little uninteresting; I can only eat so much of a cookie where the primary taste is "sweet." I'll make these again (after all, people ate and loved them), but I think I might just use another shortbread recipe. The grating technique was a great idea, but what about doing that with some sort of variation on my Orange Shortbread Cookies sans chocolate chips but layering in some marmalade or jam? Or even just adding the lemon zest Smitten Kitchen suggests as optional. Or just using a whole different recipe.