As a born and bred American, with many nationalities and countries in my blood, I often wish to have a stronger heritage. In my melting pot I have Venezuelan, Dutch, Austrian, and English ancestry to name a few, but what that boils down to is American.
My name, however, has a direct lineage. Lindsay is Scottish, and means “linden tree near the water.” My middle name, Maitland, is Scottish, too. Despite the fact that I am descended from long-ago settlers in this land, I like to pretend I am still a little bit Scottish, too.
Like my name, shortbread originated in Scotland, and I wager that most Americans associate the treat with a tartan-patterned package.
For me, shortbread conjures up the taste of a chalky, packaged, lego-shaped cookie. There’s butter, to be sure, but the cookie is chalky and needs to be bitten with the molars, not the front-teeth. I wanted to find a cookie that made me proud of my Scottish appellation, one that might explain my penchant for baking.
This Citrus Shortbread showcases the flavor of high-end butter. It melts in your mouth and leaves traces on your fingers. I added a teaspoon of orange zest for additional flavor. Next, I want to try a black pepper shortbread, and then maybe one with cocoa powder. The possibilities are limitless, this simple recipe is only the beginning.
I made a cup of strong black tea and enjoyed the buttery shortbread fingers. I guess I’m a little bit Scottish, after all.
Adapted from Greg Patent’s A Baker’s Odyssey