I’ve spent the past few days in Vancouver, where I played tour guide to a few friends from the East Coast (Hi Krysta! Hi Mark!). We visited the areas where one would expect to visit, and also drove out on the Sea to Sky highway — which was a mistake, as they are doing major renovations on the road in preparation of the 2010 winter games.

But mostly we drank tea and coffee. The hotel in which we stayed had a cafe next door that was open 24 hours, and if we were in need of sustenance, it was a mere elevator ride to the place.

Often there were food items purchased at said cafe, including the ever present pieces of shortbread, which made it in my order on more than one occasion.

Some people know these as biscuits. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve always known this as shortbread, as I live in America rather than Scotland or England, where I’ve been assured that the two terms are interchangeable.

This is quite possibly one of the easiest baking recipes one can make. If you’re a newcomer to baking (or even cooking), this is a great place to start.

  • 1/2 cup softened butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cups bakers sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter, sugar, zest and salt with a fork. Slowly add the sifted flour, and continue mixing with the fork until a dough with the consistency of wet sand occurs.

Transfer the dough (which will be quite loose) onto a cookie sheet. Pat, by hand, into a 10″ by 5″ rectangle.

Score the dough into 6 pieces of 2″ by 5″ rectangles. Then score along the diagonal in each rectangle. Then score each piece with a fork.

Place in the oven and cook for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack for 1 hour before serving.

Serves 12

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