Tag Archives: Trinity United Church

Really good shortbread

Shortbread cookies in maple leaf and heart shapes

I recently made shortbread cookies for my church bazaar and since then people have asked for my recipe. I’m sharing it with them, and with you.

Melt-in-your-mouth shortbread takes practice and a bit of fuss, but it’s worth it.

Smith shortbread cookies

  • 1 cup     butter (It must be butter.)
  • 1/3 cup  instant-dissolving sugar (It must be instant-dissolving sugar, sometimes called fine fruit sugar.)
  • 1/2 tsp.   vanilla (If possible, use white vanilla to keep the cookies looking bright.)
  • 2-1/2 cups   cake and pastry flour, sifted (I am Canadian. The flour where you live might be different, and you might need more or less.)
  • Beat butter until light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes.
  • Gradually add sugar, beating after each addition.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Add flour 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Form into a ball and pat the outside with extra flour.
  • Roll on a well-floured surface to ¼ inch thickness, adding extra flour if necessary to prevent sticking.
  • Cut using cookie cutters.
  • Bake at 300° F on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets for 12 to 5 minutes.
  • Makes approximately 2 ½ to 3 dozen average-sized cookies.

Shortbread tips

  • No substitutes!
  • Don’t bake for too long. I bake them until the edges are just starting to brown.
  • To ice them, I mix together icing sugar, water and vanilla. (Use white vanilla for white icing.) I never measure this, so I can’t give you quantities. Do it until it feels right!
Layered heart-shaped shortbread cookie
My original creation – Trinity Cookies. Shortbread, raspberry filling and buttercream.

Roots Part III: Where we come from

There’s something primal about the word roots. We feel it at our core.

Deep roots allow trees to stand tall, and they nourish the plant. Kind of like family. One hopes.

My roots are deep in the Ottawa Valley, in a farming community and a large extended family. No matter how old I get or where I live, the phrases “Ottawa Valley” and “farm” will always be central to my being.

Even as a child I was nosy. Here I am in our old farmhouse, listening in on the party line.

If I dig deeper, I get to “Irish,” “English,” and “Christian.” Yes, I am a WASP—a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant with all the privileges that come along with it. My parents raised me in faith and, even though it has evolved significantly over my lifetime, that rooting in faith still keeps me grounded.

What about people who aren’t so lucky?

When trees are rooted in rocky-ground, it’s difficult to stay standing.

There’s something primal about the word roots. We feel it—or the need of it—at our core.

Are you feeling well grounded?