Reliable Cookies

Since I've got a bit of a theme going here with recipes Phil and I haven't made since we first met, I thought I'd share Phil's excellent shortbread recipe. It's nothing really - very simple. Yet the flavors and textures are soooo good, and the recipe really lends itself well to adaptation for allergic folks. It only requires three ingredients at its core - you can get creative with the additions. The first shortbread cookies Phil ever made me contained raisins, then we kind of got obsessed with using bits of broken up dark chocolate instead. Today it's grated chocolate and orange zest.

Of course, since we're dealing with such a basic cookie here, it's pretty important to snazz it up. That's why it's all about the shapes - use a cookie cutter or carve out some letters yourself! The ones pictured below were taken in the summer of 2008 at my apartment in San Diego - we made little sailboats :)

Phil's Shortbread Cookies

The particulars:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter (or vegan margarine)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (can substitute gluten-free here)
  • splash of water/milk to bind
  • extras: raisins, chocolate chips, chopped/grated chocolate, orange zest, orange peel, crystallized ginger, etc etc etc...
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Put the flour and sugar in a bowl and break the margarine/butter into little bits and add them to the bowl. Rub together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add your extra ingredients here (raisins, chocolate, etc).
  3. Keep mixing with your hands, adding water/milk to bind if necessary.
  4. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into shapes. place onto a greased cookie sheet or two, and bake for 20-25 minutes. You want a nice golden color.

Lesson learned: The best comfort foods are the ones that bring back great memories.