We're gonna start with plain, traditional shortbread. We'll add chocolate, nuts, and other stuff in later posts. (I already reviewed Dean's cocoNOT and Harry and David's and Walker's vanilla shortbread, but today we're going old school.)
I have always loved shortbread. Mostly Walker's. My Mom would always put some in my stocking at Christmas. LOVED it. But there are lots of other shortbread companies out there. More than I ever imagined. And you know how I am - I can't just say Walker's is good - I have to have something to compare it to.
So I have been shopping for shortbread. This weekend I went to A Southern Season and found these:
I got these on an earlier trip - shaped like tulips:
By the same company, these were called Sweet Potato Shortbread cookies, and they were the best of the three, but they sure didn't taste much like sweet potato:
And they were insanely crumbly. A degree of crumbliness is good, but too crumbly = no good. These were WAY too crumbly. Think of this - you take a bite of a cookie and the entire rest of the cookie falls down the front of your shirt. Not so great.
Overall, way too expensive to be as average as they are.
These Lorna Doone cookies are called shortbread:
Shortbread originated in Scotland, thus Voortman stole the tartan plaid:
The Pecan Sandie is an okay cookie as I recall, these are Pecan Sandies without the pecan:
Pepperidge Farm wants to get in on the shortbread action too:
The flavor here isn't bad, but they are too crunchy. I don't really want crunchy shortbread. Maybe overcooked? They have other cookies that are soooooo much better. Milano, anyone?
These are made in Scotland by the Royal Edinburgh Bakery and I had high hopes for them:
These were packed inside the red tin container - they even have a picture of a Scottish castle on them!
Sigh. I've tried Dean's before, but I'm always game to give a brand a second chance!
They look good in the picture. They are made in Scotland. They are close to being good, but not quite there. They tasted more salty than buttery. Maybe it's because the third ingredient is non-hydrogenated vegetable margarine - eww. Why do you need that AND butter? Britain?
Ah - Ireland! I like the Celtic packaging. This is a classic shortbread cookie shape (these, rounds and sticks are the classic shapes):
Look at this great shape!!
Again - close, but....just not buttery enough somehow. There really is a difference between great shortbread and average shortbread. This isn't bad - Lorna Doone is bad. Voortman is bad. This is fine. Not great, mind you. Just fine.
Paterson's reminded me of O'Neills:
These are made in North Carolina. Now before you freak out, there are a lot of Scots here. Oh yes - we have the Highland Games every year in the mountains.
However, the Scots must have forgotten something when they immigrated:
Something like flavor. Sooooo bland. And I'm not sure about the rice flour. ZZZZZZZ...........
For the calories and fat, shortbread has to be buttery and with an almost creamy consistency - not crunchy, closer to cakey. Now you're thinking - what the hell? She's said all these are only average or are outright crappy? What is she doing to us? Are we supposed to wander through life shortbreadless?
Don't worry, my friends! The cream of the crop (pun intended), the most delcious shortbread cookies I could find, are coming next!! You will nevah eat subpar shortbread again!!