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The holidays are time for tradition. For a lot of people, that tradition consists of baking.
Lots and lots of cookies.
Robyn is a social work student, creator of The One podcast, and she also happens to be my wife. Even though she usually prefers to leave most of the cooking to me, don’t kid yourself, she can pull off some magical one-pot dinners, great sandwiches, and memorable baking when she wants to.
Robyn is my butter half. She is also the salt to my pepper. Literally. Whenever I ask her to taste something and tell me what it needs, her answer is always the same – salt.
Canada Cornstarch shortbread cookies.
I defy you to think of Christmas without cookies. It just doesn’t happen. Everyone has their favourite, and most often those favourites are made of shortbread. Deceivingly simple, yet difficult to get just right (or so I’ve learned after years of Christmases listening to Robyn in the kitchen cursing when her shortbread failed to live up to her standards), shortbread is a staple of many holiday traditions.
Robyn’s mom was a Christmas baking machine, she would start her Christmas baking months before the actual holiday, filling up her freezer with all sorts of treats. These simple cookies were always the runaway hit and were what many in the family associated with Christmas. When her mom passed away, her recipe box got misplaced and sent Robyn on a quest to track down this beloved recipe. She scoured the internet, trying out different shortbread recipes hoping to regain that taste of home.
But nothing was right.
After a couple of years of testing out many different recipes that ended in disappointment, a lightbulb went off: like most of her mom’s tried and true recipes, Robyn only needed to look on the back of a box in her pantry. She found the Canada Cornstarch shortbread cookie recipe and quickly baked up a batch, already knowing this had to be the one. After pressing them with a fork and topping them with her mom’s signature red sprinkles, Robyn had finally found her way home.
Big thanks to Kunitz Shoes and The Italian Centre Shop for coming on board and sponsoring The Community Table Project. The support of strong community-minded companies like these help make content like this possible, so go see Kunitz Shoes next time you’re in need of quality shoes and cool socks, and The Italian Centre Shop for everything you need to make these recipes at home.
Baconhound is an Edmonton food blog, focusing on the best restaurants and dishes in Edmonton and beyond. Phil Wilson is a food writer and also the host of the Canadian food podcast, Off Menu. Find it in the iTunes store and on Stitcher.