Friday, May 24, 2013

Rhubarb Filled Ginger Shortbread

I've been wanting to feature these shortbreads since I started thinking about recipe blogging and waiting in anticipation for those little green rhubarb sprouts to come shooting through the ground.  When we moved to this old farm house 13 years ago, I was happy to find a beautiful patch of rhubarb growing near the stone foundation behind the barn.  Who knows how long this sturdy plant has been thriving in this warm and sunny location.  The long wait is finally here, my rhubarb is ready to be cut and this recipe is ready to be revealed.  The inspiration for my Rhubarb Filled Ginger Shortbread, came from Julia Child's  Baking with Julia  Her recipe for Hungarian Shortbread is what started it all.  This recipe requires a little arm muscle, I hope your up for it!


For the filling...

1 lbs. fresh rhubarb cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup of water
grated peel of 1 lemon 

1.   Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook stirring often, until the rhubarb softens and the rhubarb seems to melt.  Continue cooking until some of the juices evaporate about 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lemon zest and cool completely. 

For the shortbread...

4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, very finely minced
confectioners sugar, for dusting

1.   Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

2.   In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until it is pale in color and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks and sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Reduce the speed to low, add the crystallized ginger and mix in well.  Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until the ingredients are incorporated.

3.   Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it into a ball.  Cut in half and shape each half into a short fat log.  Wrap each half in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30-40 minutes.

 4.   Set oven temperature to 350°.  Grease a 9X12 inch baking pan with butter.  Remove one of the logs from the freezer, and using the side of a box grater with the largest holes, (now mind you this is where it gets fun) grate the dough onto a piece of parchment paper.  This technique is unusual but results in a light textured buttery shortbread. 
Turn out the grated dough into the greased baking pan and gently spread the dough throughout the pan evenly.  Don't press on the dough, you want to keep it light.

5.   Spoon the cooled rhubarb evenly over the top of the dough.  Grate the remaining dough and distribute evenly over the rhubarb.  

6.   Bake the shortbread for about 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.  Dust heavily with confectioners sugar.  Cut into 12 or 24 pieces.  
By now your arms have recovered from all that grating, you can sit down with a nice hot cup of tea, and contemplate your workout while enjoying your Rhubarb Filled Ginger ShortbreadEnjoy! 



  1. There's nothing quite like fresh rhubarb in the spring, and these squares look like a great way to enjoy rhubarb's unique flavor. Your photos are a pleasure to look at, and make me want to get busy and try your recipe. Glad I have some rhubarb in the garden. Great job!

  2. Thank you Pixiesmom, I really appreciate the comment. Have a great day!

  3. Ginger and rhubarb is such a great combination - can't wait to try this recipe Anne!!

  4. Patricia, this recipe is so buttery and light, my favorite shortbread ever!