Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life with a Few Cookies Thrown In

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis (I bow down in gratitude to all of you) know that I write about more than just recipes. I’m notorious at poking fun at myself  because I think everything is better with a dose of humor. I’ve had lots of fun sharing things like fruit flies in my garage and rats in my backyard.

When describing my blog to those who aren’t “in the know,” I usually make the comment that it combines a slice of life with a slice of cake.

So yes, I am going to give you that recipe I promised you in the last post for Raspberry-Filled Shortbread, but not before I give you another one of those little slices of life.

It has to do with one of those marathon walks that Henry and I embark upon most every weekend. (Well, usually … but we’ve been out-of-pocket for the last six weeks, what with mobile wedding cakes, other travel and moving Eric to a new apartment in Philly). We set out recently, resolute that we could persevere, even in 95-degree heat. We forgot how hard it is after a long hiatus.

We slogged it out for about four hours (no, I’m not kidding) then finally caved and decided it was time to stop for some nourishment (that would be air-conditioning, Greek salad and a glass of wine – for me, anyway). We were hot, sweaty and looked ridiculous, but we didn’t care. Places we stop usually get this and seat us far, far away from other patrons. This is generally a good call, lest they run off their other customers.

We stopped at a mediocre Irish pub. It wasn’t our place of choice (that would have been Leon’s Full Service), but we knew we needed to stop. I ordered that wine.

Unbeknownst to me, the one waitress in the place was doing shots with folks who were seated behind me. I know this because Henry had an unobstructed view. Next thing I knew, she was approaching our table while trying to balance at least four glasses in her hands.

She attempted to set my wine in front of me. It was like slo-mo. I saw it slip out of her hand and could do nothing but watch as it sloshed all over my chest, my lap and my iPhone. Really???

Guess that’s what I get for imbibing in the middle of a walk when I probably should’ve been drinking Gatorade. To her credit, she was mortified and offered to bring me a dry T-shirt. I demurred, but she insisted. I ended up with three T-shirts.  Guess guilt can be a pretty powerful weapon!

I looked at Henry. “This is blog-worthy,” I said.  Even though I got to change my shirt, the bottom half of me was still wine-soaked and I’m sure I smelled like an alcoholic mess on the rest of the walk home.  Gotta wonder what the neighbors thought!


1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used kosher)
1 12-oz. jar seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup confectioner's (or non-melting) sugar

Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty foil to overhang sides.  Butter or grease foil well.

Place the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer and cream well, scraping down bowl at least once.  Add the egg yolks and mix well.

In a medium bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to the butter/egg mixture and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated and dough starts to come together.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and form into 2 ovals.  Wrap each one in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Remove 1 package of dough from the freezer and coarsely grate (I used a box grater).  P1ace on bottom of the prepared pan and press down lightly to form a bottom crust.

Stir jam to loosen and spoon over the dough.  Use a small spatula to spread evenly within 1/2-inch of the edge all the way around.

Remove second package of dough from the freezer and grate.  Sprinkle it over the raspberry jam and press lightly to form a top crust.  Bake until light golden brown, about 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a baking rack.  When cool, remove foil and cut.  Dust with the confectioner's (or non-melting) sugar.

Yield:  12 to 16 bars, depending upon how you cut them

Butter?  No such thing as too much.


*  I know I seem to post a lot of shortbread recipes, but get over it.  Shortbread rocks!

*  I served these with that scrumptious Lemon Mouuse I told you about in the last post, but they are pretty wonderful all on their own.  They're not bad for breakfast, either!


  1. Liz,
    Great story. Your slice of life stories bring a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Frank thinks you should give back the t-shirts and get 3 glasses of wine.

  3. Frank, I like your thinking! Wine over silly t-shirs any day!