Great Grandma Eames’ Scottish Shortbread Cookies

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Nothing says it’s Christmas time like shortbread cookies!
Okay, we also said that in our previous post about our amazing gingerbread cookies. But seriously, Christmas isn’t really Christmas without Shortbread. We say, ‘the more cookies the better!‘ We have more than enough love for every single kind of Christmas cookie!

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This recipe is from my Great Grandma Elizabeth Eames who was from Scotland. So I guess I can’t get any more authentic than that can I? However, I have changed it just a tad. (The nerve!)
My family’s traditional Scottish Shortbread has always been made and baked in a pan, pricked with a fork throughout and then cut in squares. Some family members still insist that I should be doing it that way. As that is the only way. I have changed it only in the way of rolling the dough out and cutting with Christmas shapes instead of in bars. Otherwise the recipe itself is still exactly the same as it has always been. Some family members swear the cookies taste different just because they are in cookie shapes and not the traditional bars. In any case… you can do either and I guarantee they taste delicious either way!

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Recipe for Great Grandma Elizabeth Eames Scottish Shortbread

Ingredients:
Yield 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

2 c. sifted flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. soft butter (unsalted)
1/2 c. confectioner sugar (icing sugar)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add flour mixture into butter mixture and blend well.
Cover and refrigerate until easy to handle. (approx an hour)

If making into cookie shapes, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface at approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and add sprinkles (optional) before baking. Place onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

If making into bars, press mixture into a parchment lined 9×9 square cake pan. Use a fork to make indents right through to the bottom of pan, allowing for air.

Bake at 325 for approximately 20-25 minutes.
(Just until slightly golden around the edges.)

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This recipe is now in it’s 5th generation of being passed down (on my mom’s side). It has obviously held a very special place in our hearts.
My mom and her brother (her only sibling) have plenty of stories of when they were growing up associated with this recipe. It was only made at Christmas time and it was a very big treat to even get a piece of this shortbread. It was typically reserved for the adult guests only.
Every year when I bake this shortbread I always think of these stories about my mom and my uncle when they were children growing up. This year those memories fill my heart even more as I remember my uncle and how much he loved this shortbread and how much I love him.
It is with love that we bake goodies and share them with our friends and family. I thought it would be nice to share stories of what Christmas baking means to you. What special memories do you have?

We know that you will love these Scottish Shortbread cookies/bars as much as we do!
Happy Christmas baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

Gingerbread Cookies

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Nothing says Holiday Baking quite like Gingerbread!
We have finally found the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe and we are so excited to share it with you guys.
These cookies smell almost as good as they taste, and will fill your house with an unbelievable, delicious Christmas scent.

These gingerbread cookies have just the right amount of spices, and are simple & easy to make.
We had so much fun decorating these cookies & seeing the gingerbread men come to life!

Nothing’s better than putting on some Christmas tunes, getting your friends and family together & spending a cozy night in decorating these cute gingerbread cookies. (And of course the best part is getting to eat all the cookies afterwards… or during. 😉 )

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 50 cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
4 cups all-purpose flour. sifted
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the molasses, and egg.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger & nutmeg.
Slowly pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients & mix until combined.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface & use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Bake for approx. 10 minutes, and let cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, than transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely, decorate! 🙂

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Pinterest-inspired reindeer cookies! We used red m&m candies for the noses.
They turned out super cute.

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Enjoy!
Natasha & Laura

West Coast Christmas Show

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Yesterday we went and checked out the West Coast Christmas Show in Abbotsford, BC.
The West Coast Christmas Show is a big holiday convention where you can find all kinds of goodies for the holidays like gifts, fancy foods from local vendors, decor ideas, live Christmas music & even culinary presentations, (just to name a few).

We’ve never been to the show before but when we heard that Food Network’s (Baker Extraordinaire) Anna Olson was going to be there, we had to go!

Anna performed a Holiday Baking presentation, and gave out lots of helpful baking tips & tricks.
She also baked a few things on stage – an apple crisp trifle, and shortbread bars. They looked amazing!

Here are a few of Anna’s Baking Tips that she shared:

– always use unsalted butter (for a number of reasons, but it is scientifically proven that unsalted butter has more butter in it than salted.)
– when making bars, line the pan with overhanging notched parchment paper so the bars don’t stick & are easy to get out of the pan after baking.
– when cutting a cheesecake or bars – to get a precise cut every time, dip knife in a glass of hot water for 30 seconds, & wipe dry.

Getting to meet Anna was definitely the highlight of the show for us but we also had fun walking around looking at all the Christmas goodies! There were lots of local vendors & artisans there which was great. We ended up buying  J.R. Watkins cinnamon (Anna used it during her set and recommended it!), and 100% natural bath body salts. (pictures below)

We had such a great time and getting to meet Anna was awesome – She’s a big inspiration to us.
If you’re in the area, definitely go check out the West Coast Christmas Show for some Holiday fun.

Happy Holidays!

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Body Saltz

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How cute are these cupcake soaps?! I am kicking myself for not buying one now.

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Monkey Toast – Delicious flavour-packed fruit crisps made from 100% organic whole wheat flour, which are nut free and dairy free.
 We tried a sample of the Banana Blueberry crackers & they are delish!

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Laura with her goodies.

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selfie’s in the car. obviously.

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(suppp!)

Our purchases:

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100% natural body salts by Body Saltz.
These vanilla bliss bath salts seriously smell amazing.. we can’t wait to try them out.

Body Saltz is a Canadian company based in the Fraser Valley of BC that makes homemade, 100% natural body products.

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Anna’s cinnamon recommendation: J.R. Watkins.

Natasha & Laura xo
(note: all photos were taken with an iphone as dslr camera’s aren’t allowed in the convention centre.)

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve never baked anything using maraschino cherries before, but my Grandma gave me some cherries to bake with so I decided to make Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Don’t let the maraschino cherries scare you – they really don’t taste strongly of cherry, and are actually really nummy when baked in a cookie. My mom & brother both cringed when I said I was baking maraschino cherry cookies. I literally had to make them try a bite – But like I suspected, they were both surprised and loved the cookies!

The white chocolate balances out the sweetness of the cherries, making the cookies not overly sweet, but just right.
These cookies are large, soft & chewy but my favorite part of these cookies is how Christmasy they look. The red & green cherries make for the perfect Christmas cookie!

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
{Note: This recipe requires chilling the dough for 3 hours.}

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup maraschino cherries, cut into small pieces & patted dry
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter until completely melted and no chunks remain, than set aside to cool.
Once the butter has cooled: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until nice and smooth. Add the eggs, and slowly mix until combined. With the mixer on low-speed, mix in the flour, salt, & baking soda and mix until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the cherries and white chocolate chips.

2. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (or overnight)

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line or spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a 1/4 cup, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place on the baking sheets, and flatten the balls slightly using either the bottom of a cup, or the palm of your hand. Bake for 9-12 minutes, just until the edges are golden.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo