There I was, waist deep in laundry and folding John’s dad’s undies when John walked through the door today.
“Presents!!!” he yelled.
“You! – who’s Joanne?”
My friend Joanne from What’s on the List asked for my address last week and thinking she was going to send me a Christmas card, never gave another thought about it. Well, it WAS a card but there was a delightful gift inside. She sent me a shortbread mold.
That’s wonderful but there’s a story behind it. For the past two weeks I’ve been harping on and off about wanting a shortbread mold for Christmas. The other day after a doctor’s appointment I stopped by the local op shop and walked around and around their kitcheny stuff looking for a mold.
When I got home I told John I was going to have to break down and buy a new one because I couldn’t find one on the cheap. He rolls his eyes at me when I say stuff like this. He would never think of going to an op shop for anything much less a kitchen tool or dish.
Then something else crossed my mind and shortbread was no longer the big issue. John’s mother is moving up near us and he’s been making all the arrangements. She’s got the big A and the whole family is stressing.
So imagine my excitement when I opened the package from Joanne and it was just what I wanted? How spooky is that? Seriously spooky.
I immediately wrote to her and asked if I had told her I’d been looking for one. Joanne wrote back and said no but Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella was looking for one and when she found one at a good price she bought all they had. …And I got one!
Okay, now Lorraine and the others are going to post their shortbread and it’s going to be gorgeous. Mine on the other hand was a first-time fail. I think I tried to de-pan it too soon and maybe the lavender made a difference. I’ll give it another try tomorrow.
Thank you, Joanne, my shortbread mold will be used a lot and I’ll think of you every time. The recipe I used was this Lavender Shortbread Recipe
Abbe @ Abbe's Cooking Antics says
Oh I LOVE Shortbread. My mum always has a tin of Scottish Shortbread Biscuits in the kitchen and it’s the first place I head when I walk through the front door. She’s started hiding them. I can’t say as I’ve ever tried it with Lavender in it, that’s a new one for me!
They’re all gone! The entire shortbread was demolished at dinner but the mold is clean and ready for test #2
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day and *blush, blush* Maureen, true!
I was sooooooooooooooooooooooo excited when I got your email AND that it was beyond spooky, you were looking for one and is what I surprised you with too!
I should have taken a photo, but I had a Shortbread fail today…
I thought mine cooled down for too long…put some lemon zest in it and think I should have let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour before baking; was VERY pliable when I put it in the mold, but just did NOT want to come out and then it crumbled! Hubby said it tasted great, but I will have another try tomorrow too! I am sure we will get this sorted before Lorraine finds out hers has arrived! Seriously…thank you! GREATLY appreciate ALL you do! Joanne
LOL I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one to have a fail. 🙂 It was really good. I used the Thermomix recipe and I’ll use a different one tomorrow. 🙂
I wondered if there were instructions somewhere that would help in getting the shortbreads out so I googled and found this. Hope it helps.
Mold Use Instructions: Prepare wooden (or ceramic) molds by lightly
brushing vegetable oil over all interior surfaces, being sure to
reach all the crevices and indentations. (A pastry or basting brush
works well for this task.) Lightly sprinkle flour over molds, tipping
them back and forth until all the crevices are coated, then inverting
and tapping them against a hard surface to remove all excess flour.
(A thin film works best and produces more attractive cookies.) The
molds must be redusted after each cookie, but do not need to be
Ahh I only used shortening but I did use a brush to get in all the nooks and crannies. I didn’t use flour. Yay! Thanks so much.
Iron Chef Shellie says
I never thought about having a mould for shortbread, but it makes so much sense to have one now!
I’ve seen them for years and this year I was determined to have one. So far I’m not good at it. 🙂
HA! Would you believe I did not know anything about a shortbread mold? And I don’t make shortbread that often, but now I want one…. life is interesting…
I know. I wanted one and I hope I use it enough to warrant all the looking around I did before being surprised with one. 🙂
Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com says
Aww – so so sweet of Joanne!
And your shortbread looks awesome!
It was incredibly kind of Joanne to do this for me.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
You know, I think Mrs K R needs a mold! We both love shortbread. Sounds like you’re going to have a lot of fun finding a recipe that works for you! So nice to get unexpected goodies in the mail, isn’t it?
It was a terrific thing to have happen.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Isn’t Joanne lovely? I’ve always wanted a shortbread mold and when I saw hers I asked her where it was from. I wanted to pay for it but she wouldn’t let me! I’m away at the moment so mine are probably waiting for me at the post box!
I’m eager to see how fancy yours is. 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
P.S. it doesn’t look like a fail at all!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
What a wonderful gift! That is kind of spooky – you were getting shortbread vibes! The cookie looks great to me!
It WAS spooky but at the same time pretty darned exciting. My hunt is over. 🙂
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
I love surprises! This looks like a great one. Someone once gave me a mold and I never had the patience to get it right! Now you’ve got me thinking about where it might have disappeared to! Regardless-I love shortbread and thank goodness it always tastes great with or without the mold!
Vicki Bensinger says
I think these turned out great for your first time. I’m certain they were delicious. That’s what cooking and baking is all about – trial and error. Next time they’ll be perfect but honestly I’m sure they tasted perfect and that’s really all that counts! I think those molds are difficult anyway!
Vicki, I’m determined to make this work. 🙂
Norma Chang says
I never knew there was such a thing as a shortbread mold, should look for one next time I am in a store’s kitchen department. Your shortbread was delicious and that’s all that matters.
Even the dog liked the crumbs that Rob dropped. 🙂
I think your shortbread looks delicious! Such a kind gift from Joanne! 🙂
It was very cool and totally unexpected.
Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate says
I have never made shortbread in a pan like this, I always portion it into individual cookies. I like the idea of a nice slice of shortbread though!
Hi Mallory, I have always done individual cookies too but I like the plate of decorated cookies. Perfect for a tea party.
What a lovely and unexpected Christmas present.
I keep meaning to try one of the more unique or savoury shortbread combinations but end up making the same old version time after time. If I had a lovely mold like yours I might be inspired to be more creative. 🙂
She said they weren’t expensive so maybe you’ll find one at a ridiculously low price and you can experiment.
It gives me an excuse to visit kitchen equipment stores in any case. 🙂
Now I want one too!! My sister loves shortbread, well, I do too, but she really loves it. I just make it the plain old way, but this makes it more special! I’m going to shop around and see if I spot any deals!! How lucky and spooky that was!
It was spooky, Linda. I was sure I must have mentioned it to her. Nope.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Ah, those elusive things that we find we want or need, despite the fact that we have a house spilling over with stuff! I used to sell a range of pretty shortbread moulds when I co-owned that cookware store, but never added one to my kitchen. Hope you are feeling better my friend.
I have good days and bad days, Liz – probably like you. One day we’ll both be running through meadows together. 🙂
Being a baking tragic, I’ve always marveled at how those delightful crumbly shortbread are made. Looks good even though it’s a first time effort.
Shortbread isn’t very difficult – there are only 3 ingredients. 🙂 4 if you count the lavender. I think it’s the easiest thing to make.
The Café Sucre Farine says
Oh man, I would love to get one of those on my doorstep, very cool. I’m such a shortbread addict but have never had a shortbread mold. Now I will be keeping my eye open. I love sweet surprises like this and ………… sweet friends like you!
I thought I was the only one who didn’t have one. 🙂
Such a thoughtful and timely gift. I’m sure you will have fun trying to suss it out and if it’s edible it’s not a fail as far as I’m concerned!
We ate every bite and the dog ate the crumbs. 🙂
It was good, just not picture perfect. 🙂
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Maureen until two minutes ago I didn’t know such thing existed and now I want one too! What a lovely surprise.
LOL You need one and your lovely mother too!
Well golly, you learn something new every day. A shortbread mold! No idea that was something that existed.
You’ve probably seen them and not realised what they are. It’s just a dish with a pattern. 🙂
Now do you think you could make salted caramel shortbread? I stead of sugar plums dancing in my head I have dreams of salted caramel shortbread dancing in my head ever since I saw it in a cook book from the library.
Salted caramel shortbread? I’m drooling at the thought!
Kitchen Belleicious says
shortbread. love shortbread and these looks amazing
I do too and it’s so easy to make but I don’t make it often or I’d be the size of a barn.
Like so many others, I, too, love shortbread. How nice — and remarkably serendipitous — that you received one as a gift.Christmas came a wee bit early. 🙂
I couldn’t believe it!
InTolerant Chef says
What a lovely, thoughtful gift! Your shortbread sounds delicious, I adore lavender 🙂
You don’t need much and it has that wonderful lavender scent. Thank you Herbies. 🙂
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
How lovely! And I love lavender in things like this, so I approve of your recipe choice even if it may have made getting it out of the pan tricky (it actually looks pretty intact to me anyway!).
It wasn’t perfect but it will be tomorrow or I’ll run out of butter. 🙂
Oh Maureen, how fantastic. A wish granted in such a lovely way. What a nice thing to do Joanne!
It was pretty spooky, Tania. 🙂
I’m a happy op shop scavenger too! 🙂 I love finding treasures there. I’ve never used a shortbread mold before, but I fancy the idea of lavender shortbread. 🙂
I’ve made it before in bar shapes but I’m determined to make this mold work. 🙂
Dedy@Dentist Chef says
Somehow, i believe there’s nothing such coinsidence my friend……….
i guess your pray just god APPROVED sign in Heaven then, you should be blessed and maybe you just paying forward with any kindness before…
i guess nothing better than got what u want in HIS time, God Blessed You then….
Well said, Dedy!
I had no clue about the shorbread mold but now that I see this, I need it. I am on a hunt.
It looks good, even if a few bits got stuck, I would be all over this cookie.
I’m going to make it work today.. no more sticky bits 🙂
Shortbread mold? I am so jealous, I love shortbread!
I know!! I couldn’t believe it. 🙂
Lovely large shortbread!
I was supposed to cut it into pieces. I did. I shared. 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
I haven’t met Joanne but she sounds like the nicest person. How gorgeous of her to send you this mold. You must all be flat out with all the arrangements! I think it’s good she’s moving up to be near you. Will Rob live with her or stay on with you? What a busy time you’re having. I make shortbread but not in a mold (probably because I don’t have one). I just make them as individual biscuits (cookies) but when they come out of the oven I let them sit because they harden as they cool xx
Yeah, I took these out too soon. Tomorrow we’ll do it again. Rob will stay with us but he’ll visit Joan often. She’ll be in the ‘sensitive care’ section of an aged care home. It’s really sad and John has to do the telling and the moving all by himself. He said, “What bothers me most is breaking her heart.”
Aren’t blogging friends the best? What a gorgeous mold!
PS…good luck with moving your MIL. I’ll keep you all in my thoughts…as we did the same thing with my mom in September.
Lordy, every scenario is going through our heads. What if she won’t get on the plane? What if she yells and screams? I remember your road trip and it’s a long drive from Victoria to Queensland – over a thousand miles – and John is doing it alone.
wok with ray says
I love shortbread. That mold is a great idea for making shortbread and it was a nice early Christmas gift too!
It was a huge surprise!
Someone has a direct mental connection with their good friend! What a cute little shortbread mold. Since I’m not a baker, I have to admit that I didn’t know there was such a thing. 🙂 You’re going to have some fun baking this holiday! Have fun!
My mother-in-law has one and I’ve envied it from afar. 🙂
I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a shortbread mould. Is that piece of shortbread just for one person? Maybe a mould is a good idea when I don’t want to share and just want to have one big piece of shortbread all to myself. It is buttery goodness 🙂
LOL no, the mold (or mould) shows cutting lines so each piece is like a piece of pie.
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
fail or no fail, I bet it still tasted absolutely amazing!
It did! I love the scent of lavender.
Glamorous Glutton says
What a wonderful surprise and spookily kind of Joanne. I’ve never made shortbread in a mould, is it different from baking it in a tin? How do you stop it sticking, do you have to ‘season’ the mould? I’m surprised you have time for baking with all that’s going on. GG
I used a brush and coated the mold with shortening. It stuck a little. I’m trying it again tomorrow.
I LOVE lavender in baking and especially shortbread, and this looks just amazing Maureen! Also, what a thoughtful surprise and such a treat to know you are both on the same wavelength. Karen
I didn’t know we were on the same wavelength but we ARE both American. 🙂
I have never baked with lavender…I can’t imagine…just have to try. Beautiful inspiration, thanks! 🙂 ela
It’s a lovely addition to shortbread.
I have never made shortbread cookies… I like your mold. 🙂 I would love to try this. 🙂
Episode two coming up tomorrow. 🙂
Love those kind of surprises! I think your shortbread looks lovely, I can almost smell it’s butter goodness!
You are on holiday, remember? No more comments until you’re “back”. I will still love you. 🙂 but thanks. LOL
I am continuously surprised at the generosity of our blogging friends! I am so happy that you loved the gift. The lavender shortbread looks absolutely wonderful. Hope you are well.
I was immensely pleased and you’re right, we have good friends. 🙂
There is NO SUCH THING as a shortbread fail. If it’s edible…it’s a win in my book. Yes, I’ve yet to meet a shortbread I didn’t like. 😉 I’m pretty sure I’d end up breaking the mold before I even got the dough in it. So my shortbreads are boring little squares or circles. Can’t wait to see the next batch.
I’m working on it! 🙂
Vicky and Ruth @mayihavethatrecipe says
What a beautiful present! Lavender shortbread sounds fantastic, can’t wait for your recipe!
I got caught up today so it’s going to have to be tomorrow 🙂
Now that’s karama! I love it when good things like that happen. Shortbread is one of my favorite treats but I’ve never had it with lavender. Sounds interesting.
It is 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I love shortbread, what a wonderful mold!
Dear Maureen, I bet it tasted wonderful!
That was a nice surprise to receive a present.
Blessings dear. Catherine xo
It probably makes me seem shallow to learn I LOVE presents. 🙂