November 11, 2007

The Baker's Passport - Scotland Christmas is here. Or so every commercial entity would have you believe. On November 1st I saw the first Christmas tree in the lobby of a movie theater in the City. Really could we at least let the Halloween candy digest? But what it does make me think about is buttery, crisp and crumbly shortbread. To me it is a purely seasonal cookie. My go-to is the popular export from Scotland, Walkers. While the bars and circle shaped biscuits are popular the long-standing petticoat tails has long been been a curiosity. While Mary Queen of Scots was fond of these and there's a long history between the Scotland and France one version says the name comes from the French petit gatelles meaning little cakes; it is generally thought that the name has its origin in the shape, which is similiar to that of the bell-hoop petticoats worn by women in the nineteenth century courts. Originating from the oatmeal bannock that was served at pagan Yule time celebrations, the round bannock was often scored in the center with a circle surrounded by wedges symbolizing the sun and its rays. This practice most likely originating from the Scottish New Year’s event called, Hogmanay. This shortbread varies in that it is often larger and a little thicker and decorated with candied citron peel and some almond comfits. In the Shetland and Orkney Islands it is found as Bride's Bonn and has caraway seeds. Another bit of folklore and the superstitious share that shortbread...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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