Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Butterscotch and Toffee Shortbread | Food Blogger Brunch & Cookie Swap

It is raining cookies during this time of year. Okay, maybe not literally but ovens around the country are firing on all cylinders.  I can only imagine if you flew low over towns across America, the air would be filled with the sweet scents of holiday cookies.  My house is no exception during this time of year. For the last several weeks, I have been filled with excitement in anticipation for my food blogger brunch and annual cookie exchange.  Granted it is only our 2nd year, I can confidently say it is an annual event now.

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Last year, we gathered at Wayfair Tavern in San Francisco with bags of cookies in hand and hungry stomachs.  Good times were had by all.  This year, I offered to host the event at my house and felt it would be relaxing along with giving us the opportunity to be leisurely and enjoy each others company.  I have to say, that is exactly how it turned out.  We decided to continue the tradition of from our other blogger events, by having each person contribute a dish for the brunch along with making ½ dozen cookies for each person plus enough to share for dessert.

I must confess when food bloggers gather, there is not a bad dish in the house.  In fact, it is a gastronomical feast and I was in pure foodie heaven.  The conversation was centered around food blogging, food, food blogging and more conversation about food.  What more could a food blogger ask for?  We did diversify the conversation a bit however, the binding topics made for an incredibly fun day.

Let me share with you about the food that was abundant at our brunch.  Patty from Patty’s food brought a delicious Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Herb Dressing that was perfect for the season. Lisa from Ravishing Hunger shared some divine Italian Marinated Beans, Olives and Herbed Ricotta Stuffed Roasted Red PeppersJean from Lemon and Anchovies brought her famous Pasta Salad with Arugula and Four Herbs which was simply delish.  Liren from Kitchen Confidante created a wonderful Breakfast Frittata that was quite tasty and perfect for brunch.

Gina of SPCookieQueen fame made a stunning Veggie Tart with Carrots, Goat Cheese and Olives that was a feast for the eyes and taste buds. Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch shared a lovely appetizer that was spinach, cheese and adorned on a tiny vessel of bread and hard to eat just one – trust me. As for me, I created a cheese plate to start the brunch and then served my Kale Salad that is a consistent crowd pleaser.  For a special treat, I made my Sage and Gruyere Biscuits that were out of this world tasty.  The recipe was highly requested and that simply made me smile.  Will be sharing very soon. Smile.

Once we lingered over brunch and many of us had seconds, we gathered up the platter of cookies along with a cup of hot tea or coffee and sat by the fire to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  I must exclaim that this is one talented group of food bloggers with distinct “super baking powers”.  We discussed that the assortment of cookies was amazing and sampled all of the baking delights.  Let’s just say that when my hubby got home later that afternoon, he was one happy fellow. 

My contribution to the cookie swap was my wonderful Butterscotch and Toffee Shortbread Cookies.  They simply melt in your mouth and the finish from the Fleur de Sel simply elevates it to the next level. 

Butterscotch and Toffee Shortbread 

Makes 40 to 45 cookies

1 Cup Butter, room temperature
½ Cup Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 ¾ Cup Flour
½ Cup Cornstarch
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ Cup Butterscotch chips, chop fairly fine
½ Cup Toffee Bits
Fleur de Sel for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use a non-stick cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla, salt and cornstarch and mix together.  Next add the flour slowly until incorporated.  Finally add the butterscotch chips and toffee bits and mix until incorporated.  Cover and chill for one hour.

Work the dough in 2 batches.  Roll out on a lightly floured surface and roll to ¼ inch thick. Use flour if needed.  Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter and place onto the baking sheets.  Sprinkle with a bit of the fleur de Sel.  Bake until lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.


  1. I'm re-living this wonderful get together at your lovely home Lisa and those cookies were to -die -for!!! Great photos of such a perfect day-thanks again for hosting us in your beautiful home ;)

  2. I love shortbread and these look exceptional. What a great group for your brunch and cookie swap, it sounds like a fabulous time!

  3. It was so much fun to see everyone and catch up over great food and cookies! Thanks again for being such a great hostess, Lisa!

  4. Your cookies were out of this world! It's been a real challenge to not gobble them up all in one sitting :) Thank you again for hosting us in your home. I look forward to doing it again very soon!

  5. What a lovely recap of a beautiful day with everyone. The brunch was so much fun and I truly enjoyed these wonderful shortbread cookies. You made us all feel so at home--I'm already looking forward to next year's get together. :)

  6. I'm still snickering to myself that we were discussing the merits of massaged kale v. unmassaged kale, lol. Only food bloggers. Thank you again for everything. Your dining room should be in a magazine, your whole home actually. Your home is so warm and inviting. All of the food and treats were incredible. I was telling my sister-in-law about it afterwards and how I had all these talented friends and how good everything was. I'm going to make these cookies for my daughter very soon. Hope you have a Very Merry Christmas. (Too bad we have to wait a whole year to do it again.)

  7. What a fabulous idea, the cookie swap! Whoever got yours...was very lucky. :) ela

  8. I love your tradition of the food blogger cookie swap! So much fun, and so many great people!

  9. What a fun tradition and it looks like you all enjoyed yourselves! Great cookies too they all look wonderful.

  10. I just made this, and had a really hard time rolling out the dough. It was like rolling out chocolate chip cookie dough...all the chips kept poking through and tearing the dough. Any suggestions? The finished product is great but it was a lot of work.

    1. I found that chopping the chips fairly find made a difference. In addition, I rolled slowly and added a bit of flour to help. Hope that helps. (Glad they tasted good)


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