After having much fun making my Scotland Thistle Flower Shortbread, I had been having even more fun making Scottish shortbread into other different ways for desserts. I made them into heart shapes for some friends when I invited them for lunch, gave a box of heart-shaped shortbread to another friend when she invited me for a meal and last week I made Strawberry Cheese Shortbread Tart when I invited some friends over for a Mexican lunch.
I was chatting with Ann from Anncoo Journal the other day when I asked her about photography…….how to take better and sharper food pictures. I know that the best pictures would be with natural light but that would be close to impossible for me living here in Aberdeen. There are not many bright days. To make matters worse, I always do my baking and cooking either early in the morning or later in the evening.
I know many food bloggers bring their food outside to take better pictures. If I were to do that, I need to re-heat my food cos it’s most of the time windy and cold here. Maybe I should put spot lights all over my kitchen! Maybe just put disco lights and dance around my kitchen while cooking and forget about nice pictures…haha.
But to my utter surprise, Ann asked me to send a few photos to her and she will help me to do some editing! Her warm friendship really melted my heart! I quickly sent her 2 pictures of my Strawberry Cheese Shortbread Tarts. She did that and sent back to me even though I asked her to take her time. It was way past her sleeping time when she got it done!
And knowing that I have a personal project to do that involves quite many photos, she asked me to send them to her, too, and she will help me with them!!! I think I almost fell off the chair…haha…with total joy! That’s such a great help to me that I really don’t deserve. Indeed, I never expect such kindness from someone I have not even met but have been very good friends through blogging. I’m really thankful and blessed!
Ann has awesome recipes on her blog…both cooked and baked food. There are lots of her recipes that I have bookmarked. The list is getting longer each week…haha. I think the best is to visit her and enjoy some of them….hehe. You got to visit her blog and see for yourself. I’m sure you will end up bookmarking lots of them like me…haha. And if you are a dog lover, all the more that you should visit because she even made a beautiful dessert for her dog, Cookie, to celebrate. That shows how much she loves her dog!
Those 3 photos above were all edited by Ann. I really like the one with the 2 tarts combined. I don’t know how to do that. It’s something new and brings a freshness to my blog. Ann said that she will help me with some html stuff. I’m not a computer techie and I think I just freak out on that…haha. Well, I know…….Keep Learning Keep Smiling!
I told Ann I’m going to share with the whole world that she helped me with my photos. She said, ‘No!’. She said it’s just something simple and most people know how to do that. Awww…she is really such a humble, sweet lady. No, I can’t take her ‘NO’. I have to boast to the world what an awesome friend I have. It may be something small and easy to many, but it means a big thing to me. It’s also the thought and action that means so much. Ann is an amazing friend….one that I must meet one day.
Back to my Scottish shortbread…..from all the earlier comments, almost everyone loves Scottish shortbread as they smell very buttery, fine in texture and not too sweet. Most people use short crust pastry to make tarts. But I was eager to try out with shortbread dough. It was an experiment that came out well…..happy me! Shortbread expands a little after baking so you may want to make the tart shell thinner unless you like thick tart shell.
Making this Strawberry Cheese Shortbread Tart is easy. The recipe is exactly the same as the one that I used for Scotland Thistle Flower Shortbread. The cheese cream is just cheese, double cream with some icing sugar beaten until thick. Do not over beat. Stop once it thickens. I didn’t use any measurement for that. Bake the tart shells as you would for the shortbread. Then fill it with the cheese cream, top them with strawberries and serve with some sauce poured over it……mmmmm…..delicious!
The blackberry sauce has no measurement too. I had a box of blackberries which were so sour no one wanted to eat. So, I pour them into a pot, add some sugar and a little water and cook til soft. Then blend in the pot with my hand stick blender, then pass the sauce through a sieve..and voila…fabulous blackberry sauce that’s great for anything….mmm. This is the first time I bought blackberries and it just shocked me, not only in its utter sourness but to see a lovely red sauce from blackberries that are black in colour and not red. Never try to explain how nature works…too stressful for me…..haha. Just enjoy it.
Here are pictures of other shortbread that I made:
Blueberries make a delicious, beautiful topping for Scottish shortbread, too. My family won’t eat blueberries but they don’t mind them in smoothies. Blueberries have a lot of health benefits. They are the only food that have been shown to not only prevent, but to actually reverse abnormal physical and mental decline. They are an excellent laxative, blood cleanser and antioxidant. They have also proven to be a powerful antidote to stress. So, do include some into your diet.
For those who are in love or just want to show loved ones some love, you can make 2 smaller hearts to serve….hehe. Of course you can add some lovely topping. Just go creative with them. Kids would love to do that. This shortbread dough is very easy to handle. Kids can use all sorts of cookie cutter to make different shapes. The ingredients are very simple, too. I gave 2 big ones to a friend for her to share with her hubby. I’m sure they have a great tea time together!
Do you make tarts often? What is your favourite tart shell and filling? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.
Quote of the day……
You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy.
Lydis M. Child