I want to wish you a Happy Friday, but if we’re being honest, this is NOT a happy Friday. It’s a sad, terrifying, and absolutely disgusting one; it’s a toe-curling, vomit-inducing, squirmy wormy kind of day. Why, you ask?
There’s a mouse in my house.
Well, to be more specific, there was a mouse in my house. Now, there’s what used to be a mouse and one hyperventilating, 30-something year-old women clutching her heart and a broom while sitting curled up in the fetal position in her office desk chair. Just a few days ago, I found signs of an intruder in our home, and this morning, those fears were realized. With no husband, unsuspecting toddler, or handyman nearby to remove the little fellow, I was left to fend for myself. If this is adulthood, I want out.
To be fair, this isn’t my first mouse rodeo. 5 years ago, Brett and I encountered not one, but three mice in our rental home, and it nearly was the end of me. For weeks, I was filled with paranoia, checking and rechecking every food box, randomly silencing the television and radio to determine if any critters were making a racket in the next room over, and closely inspecting every speck of dirt to make sure it wasn’t, well, you know… poop. I’ll never look at brown sprinkles the same. From that point on, I was the crazy lady who insisted on weekly pantry clean-outs and nearly dog-cussed my husband every time he left the outside door even slightly ajar (which was, okay, basically always). Those three mice were responsible for many a glasses of wine and fights in that rental house, and when we moved to our current home, I gladly welcomed the clean slate and tight seal of a brand new home.
I’m learning that taking responsibility for the messy, inconvenient, and unexpected things in life is one of the most challenging parts of adulthood. A mouse intruder is a silly example, but the truth is, we’ll all find ourselves with some unwelcome things in our [literal or proverbial] closets, and there’s rarely someone there to clean up the mess for us. This past year has found me in more than a handful of those scenarios, and I’ll be honest- facing those challenges head on is anything but palatable. While I’ve often heard people say that challenging circumstances offer you the empowering opportunity to see what you’re made of, I’d like to just say that sometimes, just as importantly, they’ll show you what you’re not made of. Whether you find yourself in a rut, a failure, or straight-up terrified of a 2″ rodent, I think it’s perfectly okay to look at those weaknesses, fears, and insufficiencies and call them what they are. It’s okay to not get it right or lose your marbles every once in a while. It’s okay to not be okay.
So while I collect myself and prepare to Lysol my house from the inside-out, let’s digress and move onto something that is palatable: shortbread cookies.
I sought to make a shortbread cookies recipe that could be translated into a number of flavors. After what seemed like a million test batches, I landed on one I liked: buttery, slightly sweet, and tender to the tooth, but with enough structure that the edges and insides held their shape nicely. When it was all said and one, I would up making close to ten flavors: coffee, lemon, chocolate chip, white chocolate peppermint, lemon lavender, maple nut, funfetti, and lime coconut. The possibilities here are endless. My hope is that you’ll take this shortbread cookies recipe and make it entirely your own.
To make these treats, we start by creaming the butter with two kinds of sugar: granulated and brown sugar. Next, salt and extract are added, followed by flour and cornstarch. The cornstarch helps these cookies to stay tender and almost melt in your mouth. Finally, the mix-ins come in! Nuts! Chocolate! Sprinkles! Citrus zest! The world is your oyster. Mix and match and test out any combination, and let me know if you land on a winner. I can’t wait to hear about it!
Thanks for hanging in there with my mouse terrors. I hope you guys do have a great, mouse-free weekend, and that some shortbread cookies are included. Happy Friday!
If you like these shortbread cookies you should try:Print
These shortbread cookies are simple and easy to adapt to your flavor preference. Add you favorite chocolates, nuts, and zest to make them your own!
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 120
- Yield: 40 Cookies
- Category: Dessert
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1–3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- Mix-Ins of your choice (see below)
- Cream together the butter, brown sugar and sugar just until barely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the flour and cornstarch. Mix just until barely combined. Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and bring the dough together into a ball with your hands. Roll it out into a log about 1-1/2-2” thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for two hours or overnight if desired.
- When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice into ¼-1/2” thick slices and place 2” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are set. Allow to cool prior to enjoying.
- For chocolate chip: Add 6 tablespoons of finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and finish the baked cookies with a sprinkle of fleur de sel.
- For white chocolate peppermint: Add ½ teaspoon peppermint extract in with the vanilla and ¼ cup of finely chopped white chocolate in with the dry ingredients. After baking, drizzle with melted white chocolate and sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top of the drizzles.
- For funfetti: Use 1-1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract in place of regular vanilla and add ¼ cup rainbow jimmies.
- For lemon: Add 2 tablespoons lemon zest in with the vanilla.
- For maple pecan: Add a scant ½ teaspoon maple extract in with the vanilla extract and ¼ cup finely chopped pecans in with the dry ingredients.
- For lime coconut: Add 1 teaspoon lime zest in with the vanilla and add ¼ cup finely chopped sweetened coconut flakes in with the dry ingredients. Drizzle finished cookies with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes.
- For honey lavender: Add 1-1/2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender to mixture. Top with a simple powdered sugar glaze if desired.
- For espresso: Add 1-1/2 teaspoons espresso powder in with the dry ingredients. Top baked cookies with a glaze made by combined one cup powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon espresso powder and just enough milk to make it into a thick glaze to drizzle on.