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BITE: Sweet and Savoury Shortbread
Those shortbreads you've been hoarding at craft shows? They have their own store now

 

I had forgotten the name. But did not forget the cookie. You don’t forget shortbread cookies like these. If you’ve ever been to the One of a Kind Show, you know the shortbread cookies I’m talking about. Coach House Shortbread Company makes those beautiful little round cookies that people famously stock up on at craft shows. But there’s no need to hoard them because the crumbly little cookies are now in their own store. They’re ALL in there. All 14 sweet and savoury flavours can be found in a shop that features table upon table of beautifully packaged, flakey, delicate, and buttery shortbread. 

Carl Stryg has been making and selling the bite-sized shortbread cookies since 1986. In 2011 he opened up his shop on Carlaw near Queen. It’s still a seasonal store (it will be open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am-5pm until Easter), but he’s always accommodating to customers who give him a call to say they’d like to come by and pick up a stash of shortbread. You know, it’s not often that you can say you had a private cookie shopping experience.

The original (plain) flavour is still the best seller, followed closely by the dark chocolate and fleur de sel. About 18 cookies come in a package for $12.95. Easter and Christmas are the two hottest seasons when Carl opens up his store. The chocolate and fleur de sel are popular at Easter (for those craving the treat they gave up for lent), and at Christmas, the cranberry, and sugar plum varieties are in demand.

Carl experimented with an old family recipe to create a shortbread that had the qualities he likes best, “crisp on the bite, and it melts in your mouth.” His tips for making the perfect shortbread at home include ensuring your butter is at 16-degrees and to undermix your ingredients.

The savoury shortbread have become so popular that Carl includes tips on his website on pairing them with wine. The walnut and BellaVitano cheese shortbread are the latest addition to the Coach House family. They are incredibly addictive with a bit of caramelized onions, orange zest, sea salt and black pepper. Proving that shortbread cookies can be deliciously sweet and oh so deliciously savoury. 

____

Pay Chen is a TV host, writer, and producer who puts a lot of things in her mouth. If you have a favourite spot in the city to share, follow her on Twitter at @PayChen.

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