Archive for the 'Shortbread/Sugar Cookies' Category

Toasted Pecan Shortbread at Roman Candle 0

Roman Candle Baking Co.
3377 SE Division – Portland

There were three different flavors of shortbread cookies sitting in the case when I went in to pick up a loaf of my favorite bread the other day (actually, a quarter of a loaf of my favorite bread. Yeah, they sell quarter loaves – it’s a massive and dense loaf to begin with). Big points for RC for that.

I’m not typically shortbread-leaning, but these were all compelling. Polenta pisatchio (I might be making up the pistachio part), and…oh damn. I’ve already forgotten the other one, but it looked good, too.

When I finally settled on the toasted pecan, the very patient (and cute) young man at the counter smiled and told me it was his favorite. And though I haven’t tasted the others, he knows what he’s talking about. This is a really good shortbread cookie.

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Whole Grain Shortbread at Tabor Bread 0

Tabor Bread
5051 SE Hawthorne Blvd – Portland

I might be on a shortbread jag. Like I said in my last post, I have not historically been a shortbread-chaser.

But… being that Tabor Bread mills all of their flours right there in the bakery – from several different kinds of whole grains (spelt, rye, whole wheat, kamut, and more) -  their shortbread, naturally, offers a unique and welcome twist on the traditional.

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Shortbread at Bakeshop / Ristretto Roasters 1

Bakeshop / Ristretto Roasters
5351 NE Sandy Blvd – Portland (Bakeshop)
3520 NE 42nd Ave – Portland (Ristretto)

The one I ate was the little round with rainbow sprinkles (above – I think those ones are 50¢, not $1), but I’m told that the same dough is used for the unadorned squares, pictured below. I found it at Ristretto on NE 42nd – not sure whether or not they’re sold at Ristretto’s other two locations. But I’m fairly certain that they sell at the squares (if not the sprinkly rounds) at their shop on N. Williams.

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Russian Tea Cake at Whole Foods 3

Whole Foods Market
NE 15th/Fremont – Portland

The Russian tea cake (aka: Mexican wedding ball/ Southern pecan butterball/snowdrop/Viennese sugar ball. etc.) is a cookie that I’ve purchased almost never, baked only once or twice in my life, but has been in my mouth more times than I could ever count.

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Ginger Oat Shortbread at Costello’s Travel Caffé 0

Costello’s Travel Caffé
2222 NE Broadway – Portland

I had driven by this place countless times over the past several years and never thought to stop in. I guess I just thought it looked and sounded kind of dopey: “Travel Caffé.”  Like it was trying too hard or something.  What the hell is a “travel café”, I would ask myself?  And anyway, I am not traveling, I live two miles from the joint.

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Two Rhubarb Cookies at Two Tarts Bakery 3

Two Tarts Bakery
2309 NW Kearney Street – Portland

I’ve had it in mind to talk about Two Tarts for ages. I’ve been enjoying them ever since they first started plying their tiny wares 3-4 years ago at The Portland Farmers’ Market. They’ve since opened a small retail shop on NW 23rd Avenue, and continue to sell at the market, as well.

The problem is this: if I am to tell you about about Two Tarts, I am required to talk about not less than 10 different cookies at once.  And it turns out that as much as I love to talk about cookies, I’m pretty lazy.  So I’m compromising and talking about only three different Two Tarts cookies.   It’s a start.

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Date Maamoul at Barbur World Foods 1

Barbur World Foods
9845 Southwest Barbur Blvd – Portland

I’ve been meaning to tell you about this maamoul that I picked up a couple of weeks ago at the in-house bakery of  Barbur World Foods - a specialty grocery store that imports foods internationally -  mainly from the Middle East and Europe.

When I unwrapped the cookie, a warm and deep vanilla scent filled the air.  It actually made me shiver, I’m not lying.  And the very smoothly-ground date filling was kissed with orange blossom water, all of which had soaked into the buttery, shortbread-like crust – making the whole affair  moist, fragrant and sensational.

Really sweet and rich, in a baklava sort of way.

And it was only a buck and half.

Just for future reference.

Mexican Sugar Cookies 12

Mexican Sugar Cookies
Location: Possibly every Mexican bakery in the world
$: Not very expensive

I like to write mainly about the cookies I come across that excite me and give me brief moments of joy.  Occasionally, however, I will meet one (or in this case, several) so dreadful that I feel compelled to warn my fellow cookie monsters to take heed.  Consider this both a precautionary tale as well as the seed for discussion.  If there are Mexican cookie lovers out there, I want to hear your voice.  Tell me what I’m missing.  I am nothing if not open-minded in my quest for maximum cookie enlightenment.

Ay, the Mexican cookies. Where do I begin?   At the risk of being culturally insensitive, I will come right out and say that the Mexicans make shitty cookies.  Read more »

Shortbread at Fresh Flours 0

Fresh Flours
6015 Phinney Ave. N

$ ? (not more than a buck apiece, possibly less)

chocolate almond shortbread & green tea shortbread

Dear Fresh Flours bakers:

Buy a bag of salt. Please. Your cookies are very pleasing to the eye, as are the rest of your wares. I have no doubt that top notch ingredients are at play here, but they are totally lost on me because I CAN BARELY TASTE THEM.  Because you don’t use any G-d blessed salt – the most fundamental of all flavor enhancers. What gives?



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