Shortbread Cookies & Another Cookbook Review

The Keepers. Cookbooks and Recipes from the past.

Shortbread Cookies

I wrote a post recently about wanting to share some of my favorite recipes in some of my favorite cookbooks. I’m a hoarder collector, people. I love cookbooks.

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(Sorry for the blur)

One thing about me – I write in books. I write my name. I often write the date/year I get a book. I underline, comment, highlight, make notes in my books. Whether it’s a novel that has a great quote, an instruction book that has key instructions I want to remember, the Bible (which I even have in the journal form with large margins), and my cookbooks. I write what event I might make something for – and for whom. I write ‘yuck/gross/do not repeat’ if it was a waste of time, money, and energy, and ‘DELICIOUS’ if I want to make this over and over.

This cookbook was one of many wonderful gifts I’ve received from my friend, Dawn. She is professionally trained but was a great cook even before school, but beyond being a good cook, she is an amazing baker and candy maker. You should check her out here. One of the many things I love about Dawn is that she writes in books, too. Well, she writes in cookbooks she’s given me, at least.

I love seeing what my cookbook authors look like. And look at that recommendation!

I love seeing what my cookbook authors look like. And look at that recommendation!

How can you tell if one of my cookbooks is a good one or not?

It’s dirty. Dirty with spatters of batter, drops of vanilla extract, flour dusted onto the pages.

I have two favorites in this book, but the one I want to share today is going to be pretty handy in the upcoming weeks. Shortbread cookies. The recipe calls them hearts, and I’ve cut them into hearts before, but you cut them into whatever shape you want them. I often cut them into squares or rectangles. Don’t confuse them with Sugar cookies, though. These are traditional shortbread, meaning they’re a butter cookie with a little sugar, not a sugar cookie with a little butter (or shortening).

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Throughout the book there are little quotes written in, as well as detail about the recipes. It’s been out for many years now, so you may be able to find it in a used book store if you don’t want to pay full price. Even with the photo above giving the full recipe, I’ve written it out for you below.

I’ll give you two tips that I always keep in mind when I make these cookies: 1) Use good butter. Yes, there is such a thing, and since you can really taste the butter, make sure that the butter has a delicious fresh flavor, and 2) I sprinkle the cookies with a superfine sugar. I’ve tried regular granulated (works fine) and coarse sugar (works not as well), and superfine. This one creates a dusting of glimmer and sweetness, which seems perfect to me.

I hope you make them. I hope you love them. My husband surely does. And I love to make them for him.

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Do you have this cookbook? Do you have a favorite shortbread recipe? Even if you do, make this one and compare. And let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

The Keepers. Cookbooks and Recipes from the past.

 

A chocolate lover's dream

A chocolate lover’s dream

 

What makes you a great cook – or baker? It’s great recipes! If you can follow a recipe, understand the instructions, well, that’s half of it. The other half is knowing a great recipe when you see it. Or, at the very least, you know (i.e. TRUST) the recipe author.

And boy do I have some great recipes!

I don’t have any idea how many cookbooks I have, or how many clipped or printed or saved-on-the-computer recipes I have, but it’s a lot! I have some really great cookbooks, and a few I’ve gotten in the last couple of years, but I have lots of old, worn out cookbooks that are just too good to get rid of. I write notes in them, but more so you can tell how good the recipes are by how messy and dirty the recipe page is!

This poor book has been used so much it’s falling apart!

 

So, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite-est recipes and cookbooks.

Today is a cookbook that I’ve had forEVER, and it looks like it, too. It’s a paperback cookbook and it didn’t cost me very much.

I KNOW it’d cost more today that when I first bought it

Plus, it’s fun to look at old cookbooks because you can see how times have changed

You can tell this lady is from the 70’s

When looking at a book, you get a hint of what kind of author you’re reading by their dedications and appreciations.

I love it that they were influenced by Julia, Jacque, and other wonderful chefs

 

So, when we found out old friends who’d moved away would be back in town, we invited them for dinner and to stay overnight. I wanted to make something that wouldn’t be too time consuming but tasty. I knew one thing we all loved was chocolate and so decided on that for dessert. Out comes my trusty Chocolate Mousse Cake recipe. You can see where I’ve written in it, set wet vanilla extract bottles on the page and splattered chocolate batter on it. HA! Dead giveaway!

 

This is recipe has never let me down

We had a great dinner of roasted thick cut pork chops with roasted sweet potatoes and apples with rosemary and a lovely apple cider sauce. We sat and talked for a while, catching up. Then I asked if anyone was ready for dessert – uh, yes, please!

 

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We ate outside in our screened room. We have little lights strung high and one of those outside heaters that we had on for the crisp, cool, all night. It wasn’t Italy … but it could’ve been.

 

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Yes, dinner was great, but what we loved most was sitting for hours with our friends. We laughed and talked and talked and talked. It was wonderful.

So would you like to make this for you and your best-est friends? If you do make it, write me, I’d love to hear back from you. How did it turn out? More importantly, did you enjoy making it, and then sharing it with people you love? And will this become one of your old favorites, too?

I sure hope so.