A Lesson in Humility: Shortbread Cookies

{Note: If you’re looking for a real shortbread recipe that’ll make your mouth water, just skip everything below and go here}


This is what shortbread cookies should look like.

Happy New Year! I hope that you had an evening full of champagne and outfit choices you’ll regret in 10 years. Because those are the best.

Today (New Years) is very rainy. Matt and I have been inside since our morning debut at Waffle House (it’s our tradition) and I was beginning to get stir crazy since my eyes were crossing from all of the football and couch time. I needed to find something to occupy myself that didn’t involve spending money or really even leaving the apartment. My options were VERY limited, so I turned to something my sister and I used to do when we were little and bored: BAKE!

I am no baker; in fact, yeast not in the form of beer scares me. But I was painfully bored and thought about making that Bee Sting Cake I’ve been eyeing. Matt’s apartment is lacking in most essential cooking ingredients, let alone things like baker’s yeast and sliced almonds, so I turned to one of my favorite websites: supercook.com. You can tell it what ingredients you have in your kitchen and it tells you what recipes you can make! Voila!

That’s how I stumbled across this recipe for Brown-Sugar Shortbread Cookies. Easy enough, right? Well, things got Survivor-ish when I realized there was no electric mixer in sight, the cinnamon had expired in 2011, Matt only had 2/3 a cup of flour (it calls for 2 cups), and had I accidentally mixed in the sugar and cinnamon when it was supposed to go on top. Oops! But there was no turning back and really, what was the worst that could happen? (Insert sound of doom here)

Well, my friends. They’re almost edible. They’re not pretty, or Instagram-worthy, but I am no longer bored and Matt’s sweet tooth is satisfied, or at least he’s being a good sport about enjoying (burnt) cookies (Quote: “You can tell that they would’ve been good”. He’s so cute.). Hopefully you get a chance to try out the original recipe and let me know if it’s delicious!

Here are the modifications I made (attempt at your own risk):

  • We only had 2/3 a cup of flour, so we reduced the recipe accordingly. It made about 8 cookies.
  • No electric mixer; mixed the butter + brown sugar to fluffy by hand with a fork
  • I wanted cookies (pretty little round things), so instead of pressing it out in a springform pan, I just rolled them into balls and flattened them out. This was maybe not a good idea…
  • We SHOULD have greatly reduced the cooking time (which I thought I did by putting them in for 30 minutes instead of 1 hour), but even that was too much and they were a little (a lot) toasty.

Moral of the Story: I suck at baking, but just killed an hour and wrote a blog post. So, give anything a try.

What things do you occupy your time with on a rainy day? Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that I should try to not completely destroy?

PS—Expired cinnamon was still good and we didn’t get sick. #winning #silverlining


4 thoughts on “A Lesson in Humility: Shortbread Cookies

  1. Thanks for this post – I can’t wait to use that site to get ideas for recipes. And Matt’s reply is so sweet and funny. It is TRUE LOVE when someone happily eats a cooking mishap. I know this because the first meal I cooked for my hubby, Al was a complete disaster. I made homemade yeast rolls that could put a dent in the floor if dropped. After that, the stove broke down and I had to cook Swiss steak in the microwave – NOT a good idea. I haven’t make such a disastrous meal since…….oh yeah, there was that time I tried to serve practically raw pork to the preacher, while burning the biscuits AND catching a tea bag on fire in the microwave!

    Take care and keep cooking!!

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