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How to cut layered shortbread dessert?

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I have a fabulous recipe for Walnut Torte from Rose's recipes (Portlanders will know who I mean). The filling is soft, mostly sour cream and ground walnuts - and the "cake" layers are about 1/4" thick rounds that are almost like shortbread. I cannot figure out the best way to slice this thing without the shortbread cracking on top. Any suggestions?

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  1. I am not familiar with this cake, but it sounds like an icebox cake, where the shortbread is softened by the sour cream. If that is the case, the shortbread would become cake like, and not crack. If that is not the case, you may get a better answer if you post the recipe.

      1. Use an electric carving knife.

        1 Reply
        1. re: acgold7

          Yep, it's the best method I've found.

        2. Thanks for the ideas! Here's the recipe, slightly adapted, from an out-of-print copy of, "Grandma Rose's book of sinfully delicious cakes, cookies, pies, cheesecakes, cake rolls, and pastries". It was also published in Good Housekeeping magazine in the 60's, I think.

          Cake layers:

          Combine together:
          3 c. flour
          3/4 c. sugar
          1/2 tsp. salt

          Rub in with fingertips:
          1 c. unsalted butter, cold

          Break 1 egg onto mixture and cut in.

          Form dough into a ball and divide into 6 equal parts (4.5 oz each). Roll each part into a 9" circle and bake on the backs of round 9" cake pans, lightly floured - 10 - 12 minutes at 350 till edges are golden brown. Let cool and remove.

          Filling:
          Combine together:
          2 c. ground walnuts
          1 1/2 c. pwdr. sugar
          1 tsp. brandy
          2 c. sour cream
          1 tsp. vanilla

          Spread filling over each cake layer, except the top. Spread the top with a thin coat of strained apricot preserves and sprinkle with pwdr. sugar.

          Cutting the egg into the dough is brilliant - it makes the dough very strong but still a lovely texture. I should probably let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let it soften, but it's tasty when the layers are crunchy, too.