Pantry Basics: How to make shortbread at home

cloud cookie cutter and shortbread

cloud cookie cutter and shortbread

Sometimes, less is truly more. When I’m pressed for time but would like to be able to offer a homemade treat, I remind myself to keep things super simple. After all, a distracted mind tends to make mistakes. I’d rather be able to present a small, unembellished morsel successfully executed rather than an overambitious, spectacular flop. This shortbread recipe from Claire Clark, who was head pastry chef at The French Laundry, fits the bill perfectly. For one, I usually have the ingredients for it at hand, so there’s no need to rush about town trying to gather a bunch of exotic ingredients. The vanilla pod can easily be substituted with citrus zest, ground cinnamon or any number of other flavourings. And the recipe itself isn’t too demanding, so I can throw the shortbread together in-between working on the computer or alongside some other dish I’m preparing.

What I love best about this shortbread is that its simplicity allows the ingredients to take centre stage. And it’s delightfully adaptable. Whether you serve it mid-morning with a black tea or cappuccino to dip it into; after a fancy dinner alongside an espresso; or just before bedtime with a cold glass of milk or a steamy hot chocolate, it tastes discreetly indulgent. It’s a great cookie to travel with (just one will hit the spot).  And wouldn’t a shortbread cloud be such a whimsical turndown treat for houseguests?

The cookie cutter, which has a beautiful hand turned wood handle, is from Herriot Grace. I adore Nikole’s writing voice and her great eye for design.

About Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is Aun's better half and for many years, the secret Editor behind this blog known to readers simply as S. Su-Lyn is an obsessive cook and critical eater whose two favourite pastimes are spending time with her three kids and spending time in the kitchen. She looks forward to combining the two in the years to come.