September 27, 2010

Compromises and Simplicity

The vote on the second challenge of the Project Food Blog competition is now open! If you would like to vote for me you simply have to follow the link "see my profile" under the silly picture of myself on the left sidebar of my blog or you can follow this link! But before that, I would like to leave you with a simple yet delicious post! Enjoy!

I’m stubborn, perfectionist, impatient. I’m feisty, opinionated, idealist. And much more than that! And I don't think I really learn many lessons from my mistakes. But if there is one thing I can say I’ve learnt in the past few years is the art of compromise. There are always important things to compromise on: in life, in relationships, even in blogging! For many people compromising equals sacrificing but I have learnt to compromise with a different perspective in mind: simplicity.

I’ve always been a very simple person by nature. But I have had a complicated (and/or complex) life in many instances. I still have, sometimes. Don’t we all have complicated days? But I have learnt to use the simplicity of my person in these situations and to translate it into simplicity of life. I’ve started by dropping out of a PhD program that was making my life miserable and by choosing to become a wife and a pre-school teacher. Yes, I gave up the opportunity of a big career (I actually had it already before starting my PhD) and of a great salary (ahh, the life of a pre-school teacher….no money!) but I gained in mental health and in time to dedicate to myself, my home, my husband, and now my blog. I chose simplicity also when I started my blog. I could have had a blog with daily posts of all the amazing Italian recipes I cook every day. If you read my first post for the Project Food Blog competition you already know that I cook almost all our family meals. It would have been easy to fill up my blog with my daily cooking activities but for me it would not have been as much fun as with only baking experiments. I compromised and I decided for a more simple blog, with fewer posts but focused on baking, what I really love.

And this week, I made that choice once again. It’s time for you (and me!) to vote for the second challenge of the Project Food Blog competition. I thought of doing a complex or mind-blowing dessert to show you that I deserve your vote. But then life as always gets in the way: my kitchen is almost fully packed for our move (yay!) and I have zero free time to dedicate to my blog these days (sigh!) and so, once again, I chose simplicity.

So I leave you all with these shortbread cookies. In all simplicity and humbleness I would like to thank you all. First, for your vote on the first challenge and, if you intend to do so, for the vote on this second one. But mostly, for all the amazing comments I have received. I really had a lot of fun thus far and the best part of this competition has been getting to know new bloggers or getting to know better those that I was already reading.

The recipe is from the amazing Joy of Baking. These were very simple and amazing cookies are perfect to start the week with. I do believe simplicity is underestimated and these cookies are the proof!

Chocolate dipped shortbreads
yields about 20 shortbread cookies

260 gr (9 oz or 2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 gr (1/4 tsp) salt
226 gr (12 oz or 1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
60 gr (1/2 cup) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
180 gr (6 oz) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, for the chocolate dip

In a medium bowl whisk the flour with the salt and set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.  Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and put the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  

Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured into a ¼” thick circle.  Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter. (I chose hearts…I was feeling very cheesy today)

Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked)

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the cookies are very lightly browned. Let them cool on a cooling rack.

For the chocolate dip, I once again opted for simplicity and melted the chocolate in the microwave. If you choose do to so, 90 seconds were really all it took but remember to stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula from time to time. (I stirred it every 30 seconds)

Taking one cookie at a time, dip one end of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all the cookies have been dipped in the chocolate, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.

Have a sweet day!


  1. Buonissimi non c'รจ che dire....sai che buoni anche "pucciati" nel latte a colazione???? baci

  2. What a sweet way to start a Monday morning! Those look scrumptious.

  3. I totally a agree--sometimes simplicity is best. It helps you to gain focus and relaxation. This was a very sweet post and those shortbread cookies look delicious!

  4. Great job! Simple or not, i'm assuming they didn't last too long around the house:)

  5. Funny, I just published a post with heart-shaped cookies decorated with [white] chocolate. We were on the same wavelength. I voted for you on the PFB, of course. My post was published at the last minute. You were impressively organized for the challenge. In bocca al lupo!

  6. Chocolate again? ::sigh:: You're letting me down. ;)

  7. @Stefy: nel latte a colazione e' proprio dove sono finiti! :)
    @Roxan @Koci @Jennifurla @BakingWithoutaBox@Ethan: thanks, they were really simple and good...and no, they did not last long :)
    @Simona: great choice on the white chocolate...that's my favorite! In bocca al lupo for the competition too. You know, I've ever rejected making mac&cheese too haha
    @Christiane: but there is the compromise! half with and half without the chocolate so my husband and I could split the cookies...see? a simple move made both happy :) I promise, no more chocolate (at least for a couple of posts:))

  8. Your cookies are gorgeous! I'm a perfectionist too, and can see myself getting crazy frustrated with dipping these halves just perfect :)

  9. What adorable cookies, but I'm a sucker for anything with hearts and chocolate! Good luck got my vote!

  10. I love your thinking.. And I'd already voted for you :)

  11. you don't have to re invent the wheel everyday, simplicity can be a good thing, especially with this cookie! I love shortbread cookies, and dipping them just makes them even more delicious...

  12. Sara, these are so perfect. I love them. As for the vote, i am doing that as i write to you. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Fingers crossed!!!!

  13. Mmmm, not only do these LOOKS delicious, they SOUND delicious!!! Yum!

  14. very pretty shortbreads cookies! they look really good!


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