Of Shortbread and Serendipity
Guest Post by Lisa Parker, Cakes for All Seasons
It’s Shortbread Day and I’ve been invited to write a post about one of the simplest of cookies. As often happens when I pull out my cookbooks and start browsing online, I stumble upon something new, in this case, an essay in The New York Times about cultivating serendipity, and my shortbread journey takes an unexpected turn. I veer off the path of writing about how different ingredients affect the flavor and texture of shortbread and start thinking about flavored versions of the cookies.
One cookbook leads to another and I find a delicious new recipe to add to my repertoire.
I came upon Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies in her 2006 cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours. Of the three recipes I baked yesterday, they were the favorite and are an upscale version of the beloved (store bought!) pecan sandies of my youth. The square cookies look nice but I’m already thinking of how I can dress them up for a sweets table. They’ll be pretty baked in my madeline pans—shortbread seashells for a seaside wedding. Say that five times fast!
The next time you bake an old standby, try tweaking the recipe a bit and see where the journey takes you.
Lisa Parker has been playing with desserts for years. After 20 years of baking desserts and playing with cake, she attended the French Pastry School in Chicago and graduated, with honors, from the L'Art Gateau program. She creates “delicious, joyous cakes and desserts” for wedding couples, party planners, and party goers in southern and coastal Maine, southern New Hampshire, and the Mt. Washington Valley.
Lisa can be found at Cakes for All Seasons where she says, “Let’s meet, I’ll bring the treats!”