Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Something Fattening For Fat Tuesday

My Dad's Famous Shortbread Cookies on Fat Tuesday

My dad was a master baker from Norway. In order to become a master baker one attends school for four years; two years in bread making and two years in pastry making. He owned a bakery in Norway and then when he immigrated to the USA he opened a bakery from 1973-2009. He passed away in 2001, but my mother and brother carried on the business until 2009. I miss him so!

My dad was locally famous for several baked goods, with the marsipan cake on top of the list; however, my personal favorite was his shortbread cookies. Being the only "openly admitted" coffee drinker in the family, coffee with these cookies was and still is one of my favorite treats.

Ahhhh....coffee, shortbread cookies and some relaxing crocheting time. The only thing that tops that is sharing coffee, shortbread cookies and a good conversation with the NVO. It is so fun to chat with the NVO; he makes me laugh-out-loud every single day! So back to the "Fat Tuesday" cookie. (Thoughts of the NVO always distract me and I could go on and on about him, but I will refrain. ;-) )

The best part about this cookie is that it is super simple!

Asbjørn’s Shortbread Cookies
Mix the following ingredients in a stand-up mixer:
1 # (2 c.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar
4 c. flour
1 t. coarse kosher salt

Mix and roll into long logs, press slightly if an oval shape is desired.
Refrigerate for at least an hour. (This is the only hard part....the waiting, perhaps some hooky or bloggin' time?)
Slice and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. (Be sure to use a sharp knife, my dad used to always say "sharf" knife. I don't know why, maybe something with his Norsk accent. The NVO and I have carried on the use of this term; we don't know why we are saying it either. ;-) )

Add almond extract and sliced almonds (Very Norsk)
Add vanilla and chopped pecans (Pecan Sandies)
Once cooled, dip half of the cookie in chocolate chips melted with a little butter. (The NVO's variation of choice.)

That's all there is to it!

Instant gratification for another day
Today I only made half of the recipe and I made the cookies tiny.
There was still plenty of dough left to freeze for another day.

Mor claims that this is not Asbjørn’s recipe, that it came from Vi and Stan, a lovely English couple that frequented the bakery and became their dear friends for many years. I will give my dad credit since he gave me the recipe. Additionally, Mor cannot correct me, as she does not use a computer; hence she does not read my blog. Tee hee.

Thank you Asbjørn, Mor, Vi and Stan for many enjoyable relaxing moments. :-)


  1. WOW, your dad was a master baker???? How cool is that! Lucky girl, bet you had the best birthday cakes growing up! Someone told me once that one of my relatives in Norway was a baker once upon a time. I often joke that this is probably one of the reasons I love to bake. The other is my dear grandmother who instilled in me the love of cooking and baking and she isn't even close to being Norwegian! ;-)
    Have to admit, I am not a big fan of shortbread. But I appreciate that it's your favourite and it's always good to have something tasty with a great cup of coffee!! Definitely second that!
    I don't think we ever get over the loss of a parent, I know my mom is always on my mind and I'll never stop missing her.
    Enjoy your cookies my friend, even if it's Wednesday when you read this ;-)
    Klem fra Norge :-)

  2. Oh those "closet drinkers". Again, the pictures belong in a magazine. Keep up the great work. I love, love, love Apple Blossom Dreams. Here's hoping I'm something other than nothing!

  3. Amy-You are right the cakes were good; they were almost always bløtekake and boy do I love cream - real cream that is. Your mother must have been a wonderful woman. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'd like to think that she's hanging out with my dad and your grandmother and they baking up something heavenly. :-)

    K - Gosh those closets have been getting crowded. ;-)

    Thanks for the comments and lovely compliments and I love, love, love you!

  4. Oh how amazing....your dad must've been so talented. Your shortbread looks delicious!
    Carole :-)

  5. Yes! Another way for me to remember your dad and Skandia. Got it copied, can't wait to try