We have recently been blessed in Vancouver with some of the most beautiful Fall days I have seen. I woke up this morning with golden light streaming through my windows, and it was the first time in a while where I just knew it would be a day of calm.
Sometimes during the week I find myself rushing around so much. Going to every job interview, working my other jobs, constantly putting myself out there by socializing, seeing every friend, going to every party. This week really taught me to slow down, and reminded me the importance of presence. I remember when I lived in Tofino, the stillness, and lack of “things to do” really drove me crazy. On a day off of work, I pretty much went for a run, did some yoga in my home, and maybe read by the beach for a couple of hours. There weren’t malls to visit on a rainy day, thousands of friends, parties, and fitness studios to distract me with. Moving home to Vancouver I was so relieved when I could just make myself busy again by doing it all. I realized though, that by making myself too busy to think about the hard things, and to reflect, I wasn’t being as present in my life. When I feel super busy, and less present, it all comes to a head pretty quickly! For example, this weekend, we had tickets to a crazy funky halloween party. But you know what? I didn’t want to go. My body and brain protested so much, and I had to listen. We want to do it all, and sometimes we can’t.
The reason why I love baking? It slows me down, and keeps me in the moment. When I bake, I am so relaxed and absorbed by what i’m doing. Yesterday, after my hectic week, I did some baking for the first time in a while, and I immediately felt more at peace. I have been baking for Shane’s mom, Sharon’s, office bake sale for three years. We won the bake sale the first year, but we didn’t win last year. We’ll see about this year though because these cookies are my specialty. They are a shortbread cookie baked with a small amount of rice flour. I made these ones pink by adding a dash of red food colouring, as the theme of the bake sale is love! Without food colouring they are a creamy white, the perfect look of a shortbread! The rice flour ensures the cookies are crumbly and melt in the mouth, while the wheat flour sees them remain stable. I also dip them in melted white chocolate, which is optional. They’re also great with dark or milk chocolate, plain, or sprinkled with sugar. Buttery shortbread is always a hit, and this recipe is super easy and fun to make. Give it a shot!
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
1.) Preheat your oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2.) Cream your softened butter, sugar, and vanilla together until combined. I just use a spoon! I so prefer a spoon over beaters because its more tactile. With cakes, beaters are needed to whip air into the batter…but not with cookies! So spoon away if you feel like it.
3.) Gradually add your salt, rice flour, and regular flour to your butter mixture. Form the mixture into a ball or disk shape, and place in the fridge for around 10 mins.
4.) On a floured baking surface, roll out your dough. I like to roll mine out on the thinner side. Using any cookie cutter you like, cut out the cookies and place them on the parchment. If you want to sprinkle sugar over the cookies, now is the time.
5.) Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Once out of the oven, wait until they are cooled to cover in chocolate, if that’s what you want to do!