Tag archive for cookies


A couple of months ago I received a message from ginger, she said it was my last chance. She had booked tickets to Paris and if I wanted in on the action I had better step up my game. Back in the fall she had told me of her plans and asked if I was interested. I had been non-committal, busy at work and all in all just not sure. But when my final warning came in I decided to give the trip some more serious thought.

Here we are about 2 months later and I’m sitting in seat 16F looking out my window, 35,000 feet in the air and halfway across Canada. To be exact, somewhere over Beausejour, where ever that is. For one reason or another Ginger and I always manage to make time for each other when it comes to Paris, although this time our visit is much overdue.


I have always enjoyed traveling with Ginger. We seem to have a similar idea of what it takes to have a good vacation. So far we have a Google map with some rough ideas of sites, food and general things that we want to do while we are in Paris. Unstructured is a good way to describe how we approach things. We often find ourselves gathered around a table with our sketchbooks and a couple of cups of tea, planning the area that we want to visit the next day. Most of our time is spent wandering streets, taking photos and I like to stop often for treats.


In the days leading up to my departure, when I wasn’t making little stacks of items that needed to be packed on the living room floor, I was scanning the internet for all things French. That is when I came upon this recipe in Dorie Greenspan cookbook, Paris Sweets for World Peace/Korova Cookies. It was fate, they were french and I had to make them. We devoured them in record time and when the cookies were all finished I hopped on my plane for Paris.


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The past is behind us and oatcakes are in our future!


The past is behind us right? Well in that case perhaps we shan’t waste time talking about how a short summer hiatus some how turned into a full summer break and basically a fall break too. Let’s just say things have been really busy and good times were had all around. Perhaps at some point in the future I will tell you about my unexpected trip to the Caribbean and move to a new house. But we aren’t talking about that now that is for sure.

I am not a big fan of the time change that happened a few weeks ago. I have hardly stood up from my desk at the end of the day and it is already dark out. I have given up my forest trail running in favour of blocks and blocks of uneven kind of lite sidewalks. I have started falling asleep on the couch at about 7:30 most nights and to top it all off I forgot some of my potted plants out on the patio and the frost has killed them! My plants lives are on your head time change!!! This whole time change thing has really thrown me off my game!


The one good thing that the cooler darker days afford me is afternoon tea. Nothing is quite as comforting on a chilly afternoon as a pot of milky tea. But, there is something that can make that afternoon pot of tea even better, Scottish oatcakes. A few days ago I was scanning through Flipbook when I noticed a recipe for oatcakes. A little spot in my heart is dedicated to these lovely little treats but for some reason I have never baked them at home. They have always only been an occasional store-bought treat.


The recipe narrative drew me in right away, I too wanted to be walking the Scottish moors with my thermos full of hot tea and a package of oatcakes in my pocket. Honestly now, who could say no to a cookie chock full of oats that can double as breakfast. Certainly not me! Visit Food52 if you find yourself in need of a salty sweet treat to accompany your afternoon tea.


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Rose Avenue

One of my guilty pleasures is rose scented treats. Rose is one of those scents that polarizes peoples opinions. Either it is thought of as being classic and romantic or old and stuffy, calling to mind your grandma. But that is what I like about it.
My grandma lived on Rose avenue in a white bungalow encrusted in broken glass stucco and backstairs covered in synthetic green turfy looking stuff. The backyard featured a diamond flower bed full of her prized roses and wild violets grew rampant in the back lawn. For a young girl grandmas house was a treasure trove filled with delightful flower smells and treats. I was especially fond of the bathroom. It was a galley style bathroom, can you call bathrooms galley style? It had a purple toilet and a secret built-in medicine cabinet behind the mirror. At the far end of the room there was a window, shinning like a light at the end of the tunnel. It was a textured, tinted window that cast the most magical light onto the sill, a sill lined with a myriad of treasures, namely perfume bottles and lipstick tubes.
I loved to go into the bathroom and examine all of the items displayed on the window sill. I would take down the lipstick tubes and smell them, never trying then on of course, I was much to timid for that. The bottles of perfume where my favourite part. The pretty glass sparkling in the light, filled with delicately coloured liquids. There were big bottles, small bottles, empty bottles and full bottles. Even a few bottles with atomizers and I loves those specimens best. When I think of all my grandmas perfumes, the only smell I can remember is rose. Now, whenever I find pretty little things that smell of rose I secretly what to pack them all up and take them home.
When I stumbled upon the delightful little pink, coconut and rose Tuckers in the December issue of Bon Appétit I knew they would be a must have holiday cookie for me. However, Christmas came and went and my little jar of rose extract still remained unopened. That was until I realized that with a slight change in shape, Tuckers would be the perfect accompaniment to any Valentines Day celebration. If you enjoy rose as much as I do, I think you will fall in love with these delightfully simple treats.

Recipe from Dorie Greenspan

I made the cookies exactly as the recipe specified and they really are absolutely perfect. Apparently the trick to making these cookies is to not rush them. “…go low and slow—both on the stove-top and in the oven—to prevent the egg whites from scrambling.” Dorie says.

2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
4 large egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon food-grade pure rose extract (not rose water); optional
Red liquid food colouring
White sanding sugar

In a medium sauce pan, cook the coconut, egg whites and sugar over medium-low heat. Stir the coconut mixture occasionally until it feels hot and dry to the touch, this should take about 10 minutes.
Now it is time to flavour the coconut! Turn the mixture out into a heatproof bowl, stir in the vanilla, rose extract and one drop of red food colouring. Mix well resisting the temptation to add more colour. Cover with plastic wrap patting it right on top of the dough to prevent it from drying out as it chills. Cool for 5 hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 300°. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of parchment paper or two silicone baking mats. Form dough into 1 tablespoon sized balls, shape into hearts and dip in sanding sugar.

Put cookies in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until they are lightly golden and firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

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Shortbread two ways

This Sunday I had the pleasure of spending the better part of the day hanging out with the very talented Joann from Slice of Pai (don’t forget to check her out on Instagram). For a month or so Joann and I have been talking about doing a collaboration. On Sunday the planets or perhaps more accurately, our agendas finally aligned and we carved out a bit of free time in-between babyshowers and other such obligation to share some time baking and taking photographs. I have been really excited about this collaboration because Joann has an such an amazing eye for food styling and photography. The majority of the photographs you see here today are Joann’s handy work!

Our morning started nice and early (for a Sunday) with me arriving on Joann’s doorstep with a giant box of props and a bottle of whiskey. The whiskey was one of the props of course! Our plan was to bake shortbread two ways, savoury and sweet. I have always loved baking that mixes sweet and salty so when we came across a recipe for a delicate sweet and salty pre-dinner cocktail shortbread (enter the Whiskey) I was all in. For our sweet selection we chose an amazing buttery and crisp almond shortbread sandwich. The almond shortbread maybe one of the best shortbreads I have had in years; so good that I have since made a second batch. See below for recipes.

Sweet and Salty Herbed Shortbread
Recipe Adapted from Food52 

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sal
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar for topping
1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and lavender
1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack positioned in the centre. In a medium bowl sift together flour and salt. In a small bowl, combined 2 tablespoons of sugar and the chopped herbs. Using your fingers gently rub the sugar and the chopped herbs together, this will release the oils from the herbs. Stir the herb mixture into the flour.

Add butter chunks to the flour, mix using a fork until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough into a 9-inch round or square baking pan; gently pat the dough down. Using a fork prick the dough and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sugar evenly over the dough.

Place the pan in the oven and bake the shortbread for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is golden and no longer looks at all wet. While the dough is still warm, score it into fingers using a very sharp knife. Allow it to cool completely in the pan before separating the pieces.


Almond Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
Recipe adapted from FineCooking

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sal
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond meal
Strawberry jam
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a mixer combine butter, sugar and salt at low speed. Mix the ingredients on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes until the butter blends with the sugar but isn’t perfectly smooth. Continue mixing at low speed while adding the flour and almonds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing until the dough begins to hold together. Be careful not to overmix.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, quickly rolling the dough to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Thinner cookies will make a more attractive sandwich.

Make an even number of cookies and cut a smaller shape into the middle of half of your cookies. This will become the top of the sandwich. The tops of the cookies can be fragile so make sure the border is fairly wide. Transfer the cookies onto baking sheets and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

While the cookies are cooling position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat to 300°F. Bake the cookies until golden, about 30 min. Halfway through the baking time switch the pan from top to bottom and rotate them 180 degrees, cook for the remaining time.

Allow the cookies to fully cool. Place a small teaspoon of jam in the centre of the cookie bottoms and spread the jam lightly over the cookie avoiding the edges. Using a sifter dust the cookie tops with confectioners’ sugar. Place the sandwiches tops on the jammed cookie bottoms and very gently press together.

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Get your sparkle on

The holidays always make me think of traditions—the ones that have gone on for years in my family and the ones that I am trying to create for my own little family. And despite the short, dark days of winter, there is something comforting about those holiday traditions that make this time of year most special.

Now that December is here, it seems like the right time to start with a little Christmas baking. Holiday baking has always been a big part of our holiday celebrations through the years. We each have our favorite sweets that appear on the holiday treat tray year after year. But with busy schedules, a massive amount of baking just seems a little too daunting. So over the past few years, I’ve come up with a different approach—weekend baking. I have plenty of time to get something baked and we get to enjoy and share treats all month long. We might not have all of our treats on the tray together, but I think it works out OK in the end. And with a little helper in the kitchen, this special baking time has just gotten a whole lot more exciting. Every weekend, he asks whether we are going to do any baking. I like to comply!

Since baking with a toddler can be a little challenging, er, exciting, I’ve been thinking about what recipes might be best for him to help with. He likes to be hands-on, helping to measure and pour. I thought about gingerbread cookies with shapes to cut out and decorate. I knew that glitter and sprinkles would be right up his alley. But it seems like there are so many steps in that process, baking and then decorating later. It would be too much for his attention span to bear. So when I found this recipe, it seemed to combine the best of all activities in a short amount of time! Decorating before baking? Yes, please!

These cookies remind me a little of biscotti in that they are twice-baked for extra crunch. It also means that fiddling around with the dough to make them perfect is just not needed—great for helpers. Some variety will make for a nice display in the end. They are a perfect addition to any tray of treats and are sure to be a hit with everything from coffee to cocktails.

A few notes before you get started: This recipes calls for cayenne pepper. It makes the cookies spicy in a very good way. My little guy is OK with the amount in the recipe, but adjust to your tastes.  The sugars and sparkles used on these cookies really set a festive tone. Play around to find favorite combinations. Ours was the vanilla sugar—while not the most festive colors, the flavors were lovely.

Spicy Gingerbread Straws

From Nancy Baggett’s recipe in Better Homes and Gardens, December 2012

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1/4 coffee, cooled, or 1/4 water with 1 teaspoon instant coffee

Course sugar or turbinado sugar
Sprinkles or edible glitter

Preheat oven to 350º and position rack in the middle of the oven.

In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, allspice and cayenne pepper, if using. Mash the brown sugar so there are no lumps are left.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, molasses and coffee and whisk to combine. Pour the butter mixture into the flour and stir well to combine. Knead briefly to mix in all of the flour and make a smooth dough. If the dough is too dry to roll out, add a few drops of water as you kneed. If it is too moist, sprinkle in a little more flour. Divide the dough in half and form roughly into a log.

Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into a rectangle, about 6 by 12 inches. Trim the dough if needed, but don’t worry about making a perfect rectangle. Remove the top layer of parchment paper and sprinkle with your choice of sugar and glitter. I used about 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of sprinkles. Place the parchment paper back on top of the dough and press the sugar gently into the dough. Remove the top layer of parchment.

Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into thin strips, about 1/4-inch by 6 inches wide. Slide the sliced rectangle of dough, still on the parchment paper, onto a baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake for about 14 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned and the cookies are just barely firm when pressed. Using the parchment paper, slide the dough onto a cutting board and retrace the cuts between the cookies and separate them a little on the pan. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.

Once both sheets are baked and trimmed, reduce oven heat to 200º and place both trays back in the over for 10 to 12 more minutes. Remove from oven and place cookies on a wire rack to cook completely. Store in an airtight contained to help them stay crisp.

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Perfecter chocolate chip cookies

Nothing quite soothes the soul like a warm chocolate chip cookie on the first rainy evening in September. There is something so comforting about cookies, they seem to bring you right back to the good old days when you got to help your mom bake. Tasting the dough, watching the cookies slowly turn golden and eventually sitting down with a fresh cookie and glass of milk. In my case baking cookies seems to conger up memories of the time that my mom was baking cookies for guests that were arriving later in the evening and I did a super giant sneeze into the mixing bowl.

Anyway, enough about me and my cookie dough tragedies. This is a story about what may be the best chocolate chip cookie ever. In the world. Ever. You maybe wondering how on I came across the this recipe. Well, on Saturday Scott and I went on a Instagram walk and on that walk we met Jeff of @lostinkits. Jeff had ever so kindly baked cookies and brought them for all of us nerdy IGers.

After I ate my cookie I immediately had to chase down Jeff and get the recipe. Here is what he told me to do: mix the Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Cook’s Illustrated with David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and you’re done. The result was pure magic: sweet, salty, rich, nutty, caramel… I could go on. This one will from now on be my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Perfecter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from David Lebovitz, Cook’s Illustrated & Little Nest 

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons French salted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel + additional salt for sprinkling
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips or chunks
3/4 cup chopped pecans toasted

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour and baking soda. Next, over medium high heat, melt 10 tablespoons of butter in a light coloured sauce pan so that you can monitor the changing colour of the butter. Once the butter has melted continue cooking and swirling the butter until it is a dark golden colour and the butter develops a rich nutty aroma. This should take about 1-3 minutes. Once the butter has browned transfer into a heatproof bowl. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the hot butter and stir until completely melted.

To the melted butter add both sugars, salt and vanilla, beat until fully mixed. Add the egg and additional yolk to the sugar mixture and whisk until no sugar lumps remain approximately 30 seconds, then let the mixture stand for 3 minutes. Repeat this process of 30 seconds whisking and 3 minutes resting 2 more times. The mixture will be thick, smooth and shiny. Using a wooden spoon stir in the flour mixture until just combined, about a minute. Add the chocolate chips and nuts until both are just mixed.

Set out two pieces of plastic wrap. Scoop the dough onto the plastic wrap and form into two large logs and wrap tightly. Place in the freezer and allow to cool for at least one hour, perferably over night.

Once the dough is fully cooled, heat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick rounds. Place on the cookie sheet with room between the cookies as they will spread. Top each slice with a small sprinkle of fleur de sel. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

*The dough will also keep nicely in the fridge for about a week.


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Little Nest chocolate chip cookies

Cookies – who can get enough of them? Around our house, it seems like we almost have more fun making them than eating them. Every weekend, or so it seems, the little guy starts rummaging around in the cupboards, finds the mixer and started chanting something about making cookies. It’s a habit we got started around the holidays and I can’t say I’ve done anything to discourage it.

Sometimes I distract him with the idea of using the mixer for other things. We’ve made bread and rolls, whip cream and soufflé. But it always comes back to the cookies. And I know we could be a little more adventurous with our cookie choices, but somehow the chocolate chip varieties are always popular.

Everyone has a go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies, right? Maybe even a couple, to suit different moods? I am fond of this recipe because of its convenience – make the dough and pop it in the fridge. Then get ready to enjoy a pan of fresh cookies at a moment’s notice. OK, maybe 10 minutes notice! I love that I don’t have to bake them all at once. I’m also kind of a sucker for chocolate chunks, hand-cut by yours truly. The chocolate shaves off the thin slivers, leaving some chocolate dust, as well as perfect size bites of chocolate.

Also, if you ever find yourself with the tail end of a few chocolate bars that didn’t quite get finished, this recipe is a great way to use them up. I also like to vary the cocoa percentages – you can tailor the chocolate to your taste, adding in a little more bitter varieties to keep the sweetness in check. Sometimes it is tasty to add in a little bit of a mint chocolate bar or something equally delicious for a fun surprise. And while the salt doesn’t have to be added at the end, I think it’s a nice touch.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Fleur de Sel

Adapted from Little Nest’s recipe

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound good quality chopped bittersweet chocolate
Fleur de sel, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Cream butter and sugars until pale and fluffy in an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, scrapping down the edges of the bowl between each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

Sift the flour and baking soda into a bowl. Chop the chocolate into pieces about 1/4 inch thick, or to your preference. Add the chocolate into the flour mixture. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and stir gently, until just incorporated. Set out two pieces of plastic wrap. Scoop the dough onto the plastic wrap and form into two large logs and wrap tightly. Place in the fridge and allow to cool for at least one hour.

Cut the dough into rounds. Depending on your preference of crisp or tender cookies, somewhere between 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Place on the cookie sheet with room between the cookies as they will spread. Top each slice with a small sprinkle of fleur de sel. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

The dough will also keep nicely in the fridge for about a week, which is perfect if you prefer your cookies fresh out of the oven!

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The importance of being cozy

In the heart of winter, I just want to hunker down inside and get cozy. Sometimes that might be a warm cup of tea in the afternoon or a toasty pair of wool sock and slippers as I pad around the house. Whatever the case may be, I must be talking about this idea a fair bit as my son has taken up the cry. I know it is just a two-year-old’s stalling technique as he hollers from his bedroom that he needs another blanket to be cozy, but it’s just too cute not to oblige.

This week we had snow. I’ve been waiting for a bit of the white stuff for some time now. And that big winter storm that covered the Pacific Northwest a few days ago promised to deliver. What followed was a wee bit more messy – snow, freezing rain, ice and then slush. And in the end, it seemed a little bit more treacherous than your typical snow day should be. But I made the most of it with a little quality driveway snow shoveling and some baking to keep us all cozy and fed on a winter afternoon.

Sometimes a winter snack calls for something with a little most substance. Something that stands up to a quick dip into my hot chocolate. These biscotti fit the bill for me. There is even a little crunch of cornmeal that makes me feel all the more healthy for adding it in. And depending what I’m in the mood for, I can make them as healthy as I like. Almonds and cranberries make a nice festive cookie. As would pistachios and cranberries. Chopped dark chocolate plays to their cookie sensibilities. And dark chocolate and orange peel sounds enticing.

I like the dry, crunchy texture of this biscotti. Even the dry shower of crumbs that they always leave behind. And not that they ever end up sitting around for long, but they taste just as good on day one as they do several days later. So a little tin of these biscotti is always welcome around the espresso machine in these parts. Sometimes they will even stand in for a little breakfast tie-over while brunch is in the works. But whatever the occasion, these biscotti always seem to bring the right level of coziness to any snack.

Almond Biscotti

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Lenox Almond Biscotti in Baking

I’ve made this recipe dozens of times with many variations. It may not be authentic, but someone at my house loves chocolate! Dark chocolate chunks and almonds are a pretty addictive combination. The sky is the limit, but I’d try to keep my additions to about 1 cup in total. And since all that chocolate sweetens up the dough, I often reduce the sugar a little as well.

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cornmeal

1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup chocolate, chips or chopped your choice

Heat your oven to 350 F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the cornmeal and whisk to combine.

Working with a stand mixure, or hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for about three minutes, until very smooth. Add the eggs and continue to beat for another two minutes, scrapping the bowl as needed, until the mixture is light, smooth and creamy. Beat in the almond extract. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine. You’ll have a very soft dough. Scrape the bowl and beaters to clean and gently stir in the almonds and chocolate.

Scrape half of the dough onto one side of the prepared baking sheet. Using your fingers and perhaps a rubber spatula, work the dough into a log about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Sometimes a little water on your finger tips works well too. The log does not have to be perfect. Form a second log on the other side of the pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the logs are lightly golden and still soft to the touch. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool the logs on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. If you turn off the oven, bring it back to 350 as you prepare the next step.

Using a wide spatula, transfer the logs to a cutting board and trim the ends of the logs. They make a perfect snack at this point! Cut the logs into 3/4-inch-thick slices and return to the baking sheet and the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden and firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!

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From Paris with Love

I am a lucky girl. You see, when Ginger returned from Paris she brought with her not one but two tins of my very favorite tea. I have been greedily sipping it every morning since. But something has been missing. Aside from the fact that Russian Earl Grey is best enjoyed in Paris, a yummy cookie would probably make drinking tea in rainy Vancouver a little more bare-able. Isn’t it traditional to have cookies with tea after all? And with Christmas just around the corner, making a batch of cookies seems like a natural fit.

I discovered something about myself while hunting for a recipe. I am often drawn to recipes that have cornstarch in them. I know, weird right. But it is true, throughout my life recipes with cornstarch in them seem to some how end up being the recipes I choose to make. Take for example one of my first forays into baking. When I was 6 or so I asked my mom if I could bake some cookies. “What kind of cookies would you like to make?” she asked. I ran off to the kitchen and returned with the box of cornstarch and declared that I wanted to make the recipe on the back of the box. It was a simple recipe, so she agreed. I made them, my family ate them, I gave some to my grandma and she ate them. For awhile I was certain I was going to become famous child baker. However, one fateful day while whipping up a batch of cookies I doubled the cornstarch and omitted sugar. That was the end of my run as a genius child baker.

Fast forward 20 years and you will find me in the kitchen again trying out a waffle recipe. I’m not a big fan of waffles, but that is another story for another day. But when I found a recipe that promised the lightest, fluffiest, most perfect waffles ever I was willing to give them a go. What was the secret that made these guys the lightest fluffiest waffles ever? Why cornstarch of course.

But back to the real story. I want cookies. And I want the perfect introductory cookie to Christmas baking. So when I stumbled upon a shortbread recipe that featured cornstarch I know it was a sign and I had to make them.

Grandma’s Shortbread


  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened


  1. Sift together cornstarch, icing sugar and flour.
  2. Stir.
  3. With wooden spoon blend in butter until soft, smooth dough forms, shape into 1″ balls flatten with fork, or you can roll them 1/2 inch thick and cut into shapes.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

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