Despite the obsession I now have with food in general, I began as a baker. In fact, I still remember that the first recipe I ever prepared all by myself was oatmeal cookies from a dry mix I spotted my older sister snacking on. As a result, baking still holds a special place in my heart.
I’m not alone in my passion for baking. Tara Herriot, communications coordinator for the Department of Student Housing and Residence Life, is an avid baker, too. “I actually enjoy baking, but love sharing it more than eating it, if that makes any sense,” she says. “As long as I can remember, baking was my favourite thing growing up as a child. My mom would know cookie recipes by heart and I loved learning from her […], but every time we made cookies together she would let me bring them to school to hand out to everyone in my class, and I think it’s just carried on with me in life to share it with everyone.”
And you may just want to apply for a position as a residence service assistant because they’re never without snacks at their meetings. Herriot’s last contribution was her whipped shortbread cookies, featured below.
“I made these Monday night for my residence services assistant team members. Our monthly meetings always include me bringing in something I prepared. So far during the school year, I have made my students crêpes with strawberries, Nutella, and bananas, cupcakes, chocolate-dipped pretzels, gingerbread cookies, and now shortbread. I think what I would like to make for February’s meeting is cake pops—I have only ever made them once with my niece, but I think it would be something different,” she says.
Like any serious home baker, Herriot strives to develop and learn. “I’m currently intrigued with the use of royal icing and piping and looking into classes that can help me sharpen my skills with cookie art,” she says. “This past Christmas, my family gave me a piping kit to get me started with a bunch of cookie cut-outs. I’m still learning about the different icings.”
Herriot says her recipe can be adapted to make chocolate shortbread simply by adding cocoa. She personally likes to sprinkle fine sugar, sprinkles, or chocolate on top. But even without these additions, they’re still tasty—and ideal for sharing.
Whipped Shortbread Cookies
MAKES 1 DOZEN
- 1 cup room-temperature unsalted butter
- ½ cup icing or confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose white flour
1.Place butter in a mixer and beat on high for 10 to 15 minutes. The butter will be perfectly creamed and white rather than yellow.
2.While the butter is mixing, preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C).
3.Once the butter is creamed, add the sugar and cornstarch.
4.Mix for a minute or two before adding the flour.
5.Roll into 1” balls, place on a cookie sheet about an inch apart, and press each gently with a fork to make lines on top.
- Bake for 10 minutes.