The week before my 13th birthday, my family and I settled into our airplane seats for a 10-hour flight to Great Britain. After landing in London and a short powernap at our rental flat, we navigated our way on foot and Tube over to Buckingham Palace to spy on the last few minutes of the Changing of the Guard. (I’d totally fail as one of those fuzzy-hatted people. I smile way too much!)
Over the next 2 days, we rode the London Eye and gazed out at the entire city, snapping iconic photos of Big Ben’s Clock Tower and the Houses of Parliament; stopped by Hyde Park for a few minutes of rest in between countless miles of walking; and toured the Tower of London, barely missing the Crown Jewels and pausing at the Tower Green. Prior to our trip, Mom and I read a few books about Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth, so I giddily explored those last few historic sites.
With another week in Scotland on the agenda, we loaded our luggage onto a train at Kings Cross Station, our Harry-Potter-loving hearts slightly broken (Platform 9 ¾ hadn’t been built back then!), and patiently skimmed through novels and guidebooks until we reached the end of the line in Edinburgh. In the drizzling rain, we trudged 15 blocks to another rental flat, our home for the next couple days, before beginning our driving tour around the countryside.
Infatuated by the vibrant green hills and rustic architecture, I begged my parents to stop at nearly every abandoned castle ruins we passed. We unanimously agreed that Glenbuchat—a tiny roofless stone structure with 3 dilapidated stories to wander—was our favorite, despite its obscure location in a grassy cattle pasture. By the time we finished our vacation in Stirling, I decided to build my future home out of sturdy stones, just like the castles. (I’ve kept those plans on hold until I figure out how to reduce the draftiness!)
Unlike our previous European vacation in Paris, the food failed to leave much of an impression. Aside from the occasional fish and chips or boiled peas from a random pub, we made most of our meals from assorted grocery store purchases. My parents usually turned to loaves of bread, wedges of cheese, chunks of salami, and a few fruits and veggies for our lunches and dinners. And we always ended our feasts with dark chocolate and Walkers Shortbread.
After first discovering their shortbread in London, Mom constantly kept our Californian pantry supplied with those red plaid boxes throughout the rest of the summer. With each buttery bite of the crumbly treats, vacation memories flooded back—the dreary rain, the posh accents, the vehicles on the left side of the road, the 30-second intervals of sunshine… So when Walkers recently contacted me inquiring if I’d be interested in becoming an Official Blogger Ambassador, I literally jumped with joy at the opportunity!
For the next few months, I’ll share several new and original recipes I produced using some of their tasty treats with you. Please know that although they ship me their goodies free-of-charge, I’ve loved their shortbread for over a decade now and would still highly recommend it regardless!
Walkers Shortbread only uses 4 top-quality ingredients in their cookies—butter, flour, sugar, and salt—so for my first recipe, I really wanted to stay true to that pure, classic flavor. To preserve the rich buttery taste, I worked with their Mini Shortbread Rounds and created Shortbread Cookie Butter Spread!
Have you ever tried Biscoff Spread? Similar to the consistency of peanut butter, it’s a sweet spread made from crushed Biscoff cookies that people enjoy smearing across toast, apple slices, or any other place they’d spread regular peanut butter. And now with my easy recipe, you can make your own shortbread version!
You only need 2 minutes and 4 ingredients for this simple homemade cookie butter: Walkers Shortbread, skim milk, brown sugar, and butter extract. That’s it! I used a package of their Mini Shortbread Rounds, and for this next week (1/25 through 1/31), Walkers is offering all FFTS readers an exclusive discount: 20% off your purchase of any regular-sale items from their US-based online site, http://www.us.walkersshortbread.com/, using the promo code FSMINI2014. Click on over and browse away! (You can find the specific package I used here.)
Now that you’ve loaded up your cart, are you ready to start making your cookie butter? Just add the shortbread, milk, and half of the brown sugar to a blender and pulse until it turns smooth and creamy. Take a little taste; if you want it sweeter and butterier, mix in the remaining sugar and butter extract.
Don’t have butter extract? Substitute vanilla instead. The butter extract packs a lot of flavor—almost like the taste of cake batter!—but the vanilla will still emulate the buttery-ness fairly well.
If you save any instead of consuming it all the second the blender blades stop (it’s a huge temptation, I know!), be sure to refrigerate the remaining cookie butter. Chilling really helps thicken the cookie butter to a more spreadable consistency, and it’s also a little safer to leave it in the fridge due to the milk.
With its rich buttery flavor, this creamy Shortbread Cookie Butter Spread will tempt you from your first sweet spoonful until the last tantalizing lick. It’s perfect for smearing across just about anything: toast, English muffins, crackers, apple slices, celery, dark chocolate, more shortbread cookies…
Trust me, this just might be the best thing you’ll ever make in your blender.
*Disclaimer: Walkers Shortbread shipped me these products free-of-charge; all of the text, recipe, and photographs are my own.