Saturday, 24 September 2011

Disneyland!!...I mean, Estonia

Today's post won't be filled with pictures of shortbread I'm afraid...actually, no pictures at all today. Boring, I know...but I wanted to update the blog a smidge by telling you that I'm writing this from a once Roman Catholic Chapel, built in 1467 in the Old Town of Tallin, Estonia.

Aside from my love of butter...and all things buttery...I have a deep love for history. Especially the kind of history that you can touch, see, live, and be a part of. When the Handsome Hunter and I make our way back to the 'Burgh, I'll post a few pictures of this amazing place. I mean, words cannot describe! Tallin feels untouched. As if technology, huge chain stores and credit cards are centuries away.

There are moments, early in the morning or before people head out for dinner and a night of schnapps and debauchery, when the streets are calm and the light is just dusting the stone walls, and you feel like you've had a rare and unexplicable glimpse of the past.

It's like nothing I've ever experienced...and I'm not sure when I will again. So, fo now, I will just enjoy every minute.


oh! and if you have any recommendations for other places that you've been to which have this kind of feel...share! let me know! The Handsome Hunter and I are on a mission now...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Paper Love

Today is a very special day. One year ago today, I married the most amazing man in the world. I think it's safe to say that my life has changed in a big way...I just wrote him a card, and I wrote something that made me think as well: it's amazing how everything we've done in the last few years has brought us both here, to the same place. I can probably go as far back as 2004, to a single decision I made to spend the summer working in Edinburgh.  This was the spark, the decision which would ignite my journey to The Handsome Hunter (By the way, I've decided that my main squeeze deserves a's only fair, I mean, especially if I'll be talking about him and making him devour dozens of shortbread for love!). So, from now on, he will be known as Handsome Hunter. God, I love that man.

Anyway, I couldn't be a happier Henni...

Today, I was planning on making sugared rose shortbread...but, I forgot to get actual roses. Rosewater? Check. Butter? Check....Roses for lovely decoration and red splashes through a beautiful white cookie?? No check. No. Check. I hate getting old. I wouldn't let you down though, I've still come through and made another batch of chocolate shortbread. I realised that I never posted the results of the Taste Test. Basically, cookies were eaten, kind words were said, but I was nae impressed. Me? Impressed? Nae. So, I've made another, hopefully more chocolate-y batch that makes me spin around and sing!

So, feel the love some chocolate and give someone a big ole smooch. Because I say so :)

Monday, 12 September 2011


It's been a touch windy here in the 'Burgh. Yeah...the bins are talking to each other. Chatty little things. Can we not tie the lids down, Council? I don't even think earplugs could drown out that noise! So, in respect of the hurricane winds sweeping through the country, I decided it was best to stay in (read: I got absolutely NO errands done. Groceries? What are those? Sustenance? Bleh, it can wait!). I did manage to take Izzy the dog out for a walk. And literally jump across the road for an all important hurricane-necessary diet coke. And butter. That's all that was in my bag. A lone diet coke and a stick of butter. For most people that just spells loneliness and a night in watching the Notebook weeping uncontrollably and trying on clothes that used to fit but don't anymore. However, for me, that spells an afternoon wearing my daffodil yellow paisley apron with turquoise buttons and making Chocolate Shortbread!!! 

I wasn't really sure of the butter/flour/coco ratio. I think I need to adjust the flour and butter to account for the fat in the coco and the extra dry ingredients added to the mix, but I wanted to see how the cookies would come out if I didn't adjust the recipe at all. To be honest, they came out ok! A bit on the softer side, which could be the result of too much fat. All in all, they came out ok. I'll definitely be experimenting with some different chocolates and amounts. But these are a few little gems I made earlier sprinkled with a lovely sheer dusting of confectioner's sugar. Like the coming winter...

Aside from the fantastic quality of my photo...ehem...I think the white against the rich chocolate brown looks so nice. It'll be nice to add such a different looking cookie to the gang I've already got going on. Hmm...we'll see how the Taste Test goes in the a.m. Happy eating!!


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Why spend money on necessities, like shoes and warm clothes for the winter, when you can buy pinnies!?

Got a few things to cover this morning:

Firstly, if you've not already checked out the links that I love, please, please, PLEASE check out Comfortable Corners The beautiful pictures that you see beneath this post were taken by him and he is an epic genius of the camera. Do yourself a favour: Check it out, be intrigued, thank me later. 

Secondly (or Second? Grammar and I were never good friends!), I officially have a follower!!! Woop woop! Watch out world, here I come! Needless to say, the one lone, enthusiastic follower is none other than my mother. See, now that is real love! And as she so perfectly put it, my first follower and fan should always be my mother. Awww love her! and my partners in crime (namely my main squeeze and my co workers) have single handedly eaten 4 batches of shortbread over the last week. Personally, I felt it was my duty to the name of research. I should also probably feel it's my duty to balance shortbread eating with exercise, but well, one thing at a time. Thankfully, I have surrounded myself with people whose appetites are as ferocious as mine. So thanks you guys, for being my eating comrades. Round 2 will commence Tuesday morning at 0900 hours. Wear your stretchy pants. 

Ok, now down to business. I have recently given in to my love of beautiful things and visited my favourite store in the WHOLE. ENTIRE. WORLD. This love is almost solely because of their beautiful, heart warming, and delightfully retro aprons. So, all I can do is urge you to visit and take a look and possibly invest in one of these aprons. They not only look fabulous, but make cooking/baking/twirling around in the kitchen an absolute  pleasure. I'm wearing one now. Just because :)


Friday, 9 September 2011

The little beauties in all their glory!

Cardamom and White Chocolate

A cuppa with Cardamom and White Chocolate shortbread minis

Almond and Milk Chocolate minis

Cinnamon and Sugar

Cinnamon and Sugar minis

Toasted Coconut

Dark Chocolate and Orange

Poppy Seed

The whole gang!!

Thank you so much to Giancarlo, my friend and fabulous photographer, for taking the time to help me out. I am so excited to see what the future has in store. I've got so many ideas floating around my head for different flavours, packaging, names, etc. 

Let me know what you think of the look of these shortbreads so far. I'll probably work on a new batch of flavours next far, I'm thinking of revamping the poppy seed to lemon and poppy seed.  A little lemon never hurt anyone...unless it gets in a cut. Then it hurts. But in shortbread, it's delicious!! Also, I think i'll be doing a Coco and Dark Chocolate Drizzle Shortbread, and (if I can get my stubby little hands on some), a lavender and honey Scottish!!! If you have any idea for flavours you think I should try, send me a message!  

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I'm going to have to buy more leggings soon...

Right, I've had enough with butter being fattening and what have you. From now on, butter is good for you! Especially the butter in my shortbread. That is extra nutritious. Fact.

Aside from having to buy more leggings (because leggings are forgiving and don't leave jean zipper imprints on your shortbread filled belly), the shortbread making is going swimmingly! I've tweaked the recipe a little bit and found a trifecta/temperature combo that really works for me and my oven. Oh, and by trifecta, I mean the almighty trilogy of Butter, Sugar, and Flour. I mean, what more do you need in life? Well, maybe chocolate, bbq's, Mexican food of any kind, real estate websites (I could spend HOURS trolling those sites!). I gain momentum easily. The point is I'm really happy with the way the sortbread has been coming out. I made a few batches on Monday in preparation for the photo shoot (which, by the by, was super fun!!!).

Here are some of the Cardamom and White Chocolate ones I made, large ones on the left and the wee baby ones which I dip in white chocolate at the bottom. They are the perfect size for chomping!

These are the large ones when finished. Frosted generously with oozy, gooey, delicious white chocolate and finished off with the cardamom pods. I always think it's a good idea to show people what they're eating.

On it was to the park for some pictures...

The ruins at Holyrood Palace

My wee shortbreads, ready for their close-ups!!

The perfect ending to a great day!! Holyrood park verging on dusk is magnificent. If you've never been you should go before winter grabs a hold with it's frosty hands! Nothing beats grabbing a bench, pulling out a good book and snacking on a few delicious baked morsels. Highly recommended :)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Gettin' my bake on

Lots to do today! First So important. You know music makes baked things taste better? So weird, right? So in honour of today's shortbread making, I'm playing a little Charlie Simpson. Feeling better already! The sky is a brilliant blue and I'm feeling like today is a great day for pictures!

So today I'm making a little herd of shortbread: Cinnamon and Sugar, Toasted Coconut, Cardamom and White Chocolate, Almond and Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Orange, and Poppy Seed!

A few are in the oven just now, and the smell of cinnamon is sublime...warm and sweet and just a little bit spicy. I think Izzy's getting hungry...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

livin' like a rockstar

Ok, so tomorrow we're doin' a little photo shoot. Edinburgh has some amazing backdrops and quirky corners to give pictures that mystery and edge...shortbread is soooo edgy. I know. But my good friend and amazing photographer is going to help me style and profile a few of my buttery delights. Hopefully we'll get some great pictures and it won't be pouring rain like it normally is. This morning, I'm making some dough so that it can rest until I come back from work.

Flavours today:  Almond and Milk Chocolate and Toasted Coconut

(not too bad for 8 am on a Sunday!)


Saturday, 3 September 2011

the shortbread that started it all!

This was the shortbread I made for our wedding favours in June: Four squares of all butter shortbread. Crispy, buttery and dusted with lovely grains of crystalline sugar....heaven! They looked perfect with the table ad flowers. Wrapped in white parchment paper and finished off with black and white grosgrain ribbon and our 'H', love, love :)


making the world a better stick of butter at a time!

Hello!! Well, Edinburgh is looking particularly sunny and beautiful today. I can't think of a better time to launch my shortbread inspired blog. Dedicated to fabulous pinnies and all things baked with love, follow me as I chronicle my journey towards starting a shortbread business. Not quite sure where this will take me, or how long it might take me to do it...but I do know that I'll never go hungry! Let the baking begin!