Melt-in-your mouth shortbread brings back memories

For former Free Press reporter, Ashley Prest, shortbread is a family heirloom.

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For former Free Press reporter, Ashley Prest, shortbread is a family heirloom.

Homemade Holidays: 12 days of vintage treats

To cap off the Free Press’s anniversary year, we’re plumbing the archives for holiday recipes of yore. Follow along until Dec. 23 for a sampling of the sweet, strange and trendy desserts to grace our pages and your tables over the last 150 years.

In the 2007 write-up accompanying this recipe, Ashley shares some of the memories associated with the “soft, crumbly, melt-in-your mouth, buttery” cookies made every Christmas by her mom and Nanny, both of whom died when she was a child.

“There were many other things that Nanny baked — but nothing else that really mattered to me,” she writes. She later discovered her mom’s copy of the recipe in a pile of documents saved by her dad. “I don’t have very much that was my mom’s but this was truly a precious gift. She wrote it, she held it, she read it, she made these good old cookies and so could I.”

Thanks for sharing, Ashley — the memories and the recipe for some of the best shortbread I’ve ever tasted.

Day 11: Ashley’s Family Shortbread, 2007

1 1/2 cups butter

1 cup icing sugar

1 cup cornstarch

2 cups flour

Cream together butter and icing sugar until light in colour.

Sift cornstarch and flour together and add to butter mixture. Cream well.

Remove dough from bowl and knead for several minutes.

Roll into small balls, place on a cookie sheet and press down with a lightly-floured fork. Bake at 275 F for 10 to 20 minutes* or until bottom of cookies are light brown.

*This is a wide time range at a low temperature, but that’s what it says! For mine, I use a slightly hotter oven and adjusted the time accordingly.

Recipe by Ashley Prest

Twitter: @evawasney

Eva Wasney

Eva Wasney
Arts Reporter

Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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