My mom and her sisters are famous for their shortbread cookies. My grandmother shared this recipe with her daughters, and each one of them has her own way of baking them. One of my aunts adds cocoa powder and uses chocolate icing instead of jam, but I digress. I can tell you that these shortbread cookies are delicious and very easy to make!
I love to bake and started making these for my husband’s family when I first met them. They love these cookies and have been known to hide them from each other. My husband gets these for our anniversary or New Year’s every year.
Shortbread’s main ingredient is butter, so using the best butter you can find is important. I used Gay Lea’s Baker’s Gold, part of their new line of specialty butters. It’s 84% milk fat, which means less moisture and air in the butter, resulting in flakier and more crispy pastries. Fyi, most butters in North America are only 80% milk fat and most butters in Europe are 82% milk fat.
When I baked these cookies, the house smelled so yummy: you could really smell the butter. The difference I noticed right away was how much crispier these cookies turned out. They held their own when jam was added. Continue reading →
As much as I love to bake, I also love the creative process of packaging said baked goods — and, nothing does it better than a cookie box!
Cookie boxes have been around for a long time, including old-fashioned tin boxes, cardboard bakery boxes, holiday-themed boxes, and basically any container you can get your hands on.
But, have you ever assembled a cookie box that contains separate compartments for cookies and other treats? They’re so easy and fun to put together, and the presentation can be quite spectacular. You just have to check Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration!
Here are my tips for assembling a stunning cookie box:
have a theme. It’s so much easier to know how to compartmentalize and what to include when you start with a theme
keep a large shoe box or other large shipping box on hand for special occasions. You can even use in-season packaging, like a wooden clementine crate, or an old cookie tin to which you add compartments or smaller boxes
wrap a plain box with kraft or wrapping paper. You can also paint a wooden box, or use a deep dish baking pan. If the plain box is sturdy and elegant, like the one I used here, then there’s no need to adorn it
collect smaller boxes and containers from around the house, such as: cardboard jewelry boxes, tins, jars, old drinking glasses, bowls, etc
choose boxes that are different shapes and sizes
use tissue paper to add color and height to the box and treats
wrap cookies in bakar’s string or place in clear cello bags
use a combination of store-bought and homemade goodies, as well as in-season fruits
if you’re transporting or shipping the box, make sure you have a lid or safe way to cover the cookies
Today marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation! As an immigrant to Canada, I cannot be more grateful that I live here. I’m more proud every year and I love celebrating everything about Canada. When I first moved here, I kept asking people how Canada was different from the United States, where I had lived prior to moving. It was a lot of fun to hear what each person thought was the major difference. After living here for more than 25 years, I can tell you what is different, but that would be the subject of another post! Let’s just say that our cities consistently rank as the top livable cities in the world and that, along with Canada’s diversity, is one of the reasons I love living here.
This year we’ve seen lots of fun activities going on around the country in celebration of Canada’s 150th, also called Canada 150 by the Government of Canada.