Friday, October 05, 2007

Bridal Shower Shortbread

Weddings are exhausting. Especially when they are planned and carried out in little over six months. Since The Pirate proposed to my sister Julie this spring, there have been three (count 'em, three) ceremonies/celebrations (the wedding at my cousin’s house in Seattle and two parties in Los Angeles and London), a bachelorette party, a bachelor party, three bridal showers, a rehearsal dinner …

Finally, the festivities are over. I returned from London two days ago, leaving my sister behind to enjoy domestic bliss in her new flat in Brixton. After sleeping for 12+ hours without moving a twitch, I woke to find that it’s time for life to get back to normal, which means writing, editing, working with the kids’ programs, doing a little shopping at Trader Joe’s, figuring out what to choose next on Netflix, and posting a blog entry.

The following shortbread recipe is one of my favorites, inspired by Laurie Colwin, whose two food books, Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, gave me the courage to take risks in my kitchen, back when I was in my twenties and working at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. It is one of the easiest recipes you will ever make, tastes far better than any store bought shortbread you can buy, and always impresses the people you give it to. The two sticks of butter help, of course, but so does the whole wheat, which gives each bite a grainy texture that is addictive. This was my contribution to the Los Angeles Bridal Shower #1. Our friend Trae added the blueberries to give some color to the plate. Raspberries or a drizzle of chocolate would also perk things up nicely.

Kim’s Classic Shortbread


- 2 sticks salted butter
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup wheat flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt


1. Cream butter with sugar. (I use a beater; you can also use your food processor).

2. Sift flours, baking powder, and salt. Work this into the above mixture. (I’m usually too lazy to sift, and the shortbread has always come out fine.)

3. Pat the dough down into an 8-inch shortbread mold. If you don’t have a mold, use a round cake pan, ungreased. The dough will be crumbly, but once you pat it down it takes its shape. Score the dough, making 6 wedges. (I have also scored the dough to make pieces approximate 1 inch by 1 ½ inches, as in the photo above).

4. Bake shortbread in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edge is golden brown.

5. Let it cool for 20 minutes and then remove from mold. Cut it into wedges or slices before completely cooled.

Pan note:
The last time I made this, I used my springform pan, which made for easy cutting.