Archive for February, 2023

As we wait with bated breath for season three of Ted Lasso, I thought it would be fun to recreate his infamous shortbread cookies. These cookies conjured swoons from Rebecca, Ted’s boss! And rightly so, a well-made shortbread biscuit will melt in your mouth with the creamy taste of butter but not choke you to death with a puff of flour.

Years ago, I met a fellow running a shortbread cookie business in Toronto, he made both savoury (my favourite) and sweet and his shortbread was absolutely dreamy. I asked him what his secret was and he said cornstarch! Who knew? So I always like to include a little cornstarch in my shortbread to make them melt in your mouth, although, this is not part of Ted Lasso’s recipe.

A lovely, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread.

Ted Lasso-ish Shortbread Biscuits

This recipe makes one 23 cm x 23 cm (9 inch x 9 inch) pan.


  • 250 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100 g  icing sugar, sifted
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 5 g lemon zest
  • 240 g all-purpose flour
  • 75 g cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Prepare a 23 cm x 23 cm (9 inch x 9 inch) pan by lining with parchment.
  2. Beat the butter until light and fluffy, add the icing sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest; whip this mixture until fluffy and completely combined.
  3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt together, add it to the butter mixture and beat on low speed, just until combined.
  4. Press the dough into the pan evenly and cut into slices (this will make it easier to cut when baked). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Evenly dock the cookies with a fork and bake the shortbread for 45-60 minutes (mine were perfect at 45) or until just beginning to get golden on the edges. Cool in the pan and retrace the cut marks with a sharp, dry knife. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan. When cool, remove the cookies by lifting the parchment out of the pan and gently break the cookies at the cut marks but they should separate easily.


  • Ted’s cookies don’t have vanilla or lemon zest but I can’t resist these flavours so I added them. Cornstarch isn’t part of the original recipe either, as I mentioned previously.
  • North American icing sugar already has some cornstarch in it to prevent clumping, but I’ve upped the ante and added more.
  • The cookies are fragile when hot, avoid touching them as you will leave fingerprints all over them.
  • Store the cookies in a cool, dry place or freeze them if they are not being consumed immediately, although they’re probably delicious when frozen too!

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I wanted to get this cute little presentation onto the blog so I don’t forget about it next year. It’s so simple, it’s not even a real recipe, but here it is. I think I saw it on my Facebook feed but it immediately disappeared and I cannot find it, sorry. We had a bunch of kids in the mix so I diluted the boursin with cream cheese, it was still plenty flavourful and the kids loved it too.

Boursin Christmas Tree Dip Plate

Makes 4 little Christmas trees of various sizes (about 250 g of dip)


  • 150 g Boursin dip (I used one package of the fine herbs and garlic), room temperature
  • 125 g plain cream cheese, room temperature (half a package)
  • 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • a handful of dried cranberry, cut into small triangles
  • Bread and crackers for serving


  1. Combine the Boursin and cream cheese and whip with a small hand mixer until thoroughly combined.
  2. Using a small piece of plastic wrap, take some of the dip and form it into a cone shape using the plastic wrap to protect your hands, do this three more times. Varying heights will look best.
  3. Combine the parsley and green onion on a plate.
  4. Roll each cone into the parsley and green onion to cover the outside. Place little cranberry pieces into each tree to decorate it.
  5. Serve on a large platter that can accommodate the bread and crackers.
  6. If you are not serving this immediately, refrigerate covered so it doesn’t dry out. Bring to room temperature to serve.


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No Knead Sourdough Pull-apart Christmas Tree Rolls

Makes 18 Dinner Rolls about 10 cm in diameter


  • 340 g bread flour
  • 140 g AP unbleached white flour
  • 200 mL kefir, room temperature
  • 215 g active sourdough starter 
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 50 g granulated white sugar
  • 5 g sea salt
  • 75 g softened butter, plus more for brushing the tops when baked.
  • Olive oil
  • Pickled red peppers for garnish

Day one:

Making the Dough:

  1. Whisk to combine the room-temperature kefir and the starter in a large bowl and whisk in the eggs and butter until well mixed (the butter will be in little pieces, that is OK).
  2. Sift the bread flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt and add it to the bowl with the kefir and the eggs. Use a wooden spoon or my favourite tool to mix, making sure to incorporate all of the flour, until a shaggy dough has formed.
  3. Cover the dough with a tea towel to rest for an hour; every 20 minutes complete three rounds of stretches and folds.


  1. Coat the dough with olive oil to prevent from drying out. Cover the dough with a large plate and set aside to rise at room temperature for about 4-6 hours. The dough should double in size during this time.
  2. Refrigerate the dough overnight to continue the fermentation process.

Day Two:


  1. Lightly flour a clean surface and turn the proofed dough out onto it. Knead a couple of times so it becomes pliable.
  2. Weigh the dough and divide the weight into 18, cut the dough into 18 equal pieces by weight.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Make each piece of dough into a smooth ball, by rolling it in your palms.
  5. Place each ball (not crowding) onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in the shape of a Christmas tree and cover with a clean kitchen towel until doubled in size.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F with fan (convection on) and place the rack into the middle.
  2. Decorate the Christmas tree with pickled red peppers to look like garland.
  3. Bake the rolls for 20-24 minutes or until they are about 200° C inside. Brush the buns with some melted butter.
  4. Serve the buns warm.

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These melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies are like no other shortbread cookie you’ve tasted. The flour and almond flour is toasted to give the cookies a unique nutty flavour. The recipe is from the 16th century so I suppose they toasted the flour to pasteurize it.  I used shortening and butter to make this recipe but traditionally they are made with lard, pork lard in particular. You can read about the history of the cookies here. I flavoured my cookies with cinnamon and orange zest because it felt Christmasy. I made these treats for my cousin’s daughter’s boyfriend who has come from Spain for a year on a work visa and being his first Christmas away from his family, I wanted to give him a little taste of home. This recipe is a compilation of a few that I found online, with some personal additions (such as butter and orange zest);


Makes about 20 cookies about 4 cm in diameter


  • 250 g flour
  • 60 g almond flour
  • 135 g icing sugar
  • 114 g shortening, room temperature
  • 45 g butter, room temperature
  • 4 g cinnamon
  • 2 g salt
  • 2 g orange zest
  • Icing sugar for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Toast the flour in the oven for 20 minutes or until very light brown or beige. Cool completely.
  3. Toast the almond flour in a dry frying pan until golden, cool completely.. Combine the two flours, cinnamon, salt and whisk.
  4. Whip the shortening, butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest. Slowly add the flour mixture until entirely incorporated, it will be crumbly but will stick together. Shape into a disk and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to one cm thick and cut with a four-centimeter cookie cutter and place about half a centimeter apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Keep rolling and cutting until all of the dough is used up. Bake for 10-12 minutes, these cookies will burn quickly so watch them, they should be golden brown when done. Don’t touch them while they are warm.
  6. Carefully slide the cookies on the parchment off the baking sheet to cool. The cookies will be extremely delicate while hot. Dust with icing sugar while hot and allow them to cool completely without disturbing them.
  7. Serve at room temperature.

I think I would prefer to have more butter in the cookie next time.



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