January 6 – Shortbread Day

Shortbread is one of my favorite “surprise” foods–as in, it’s so surprisingly easy to make, and surprisingly delicious to eat. According to Wikipedia, traditional shortbread consists of only three ingredients–butter, sugar, and oatmeal flour. It’s kind of amazing how sweet and crumbly the finished product becomes. Not quite a pastry, but not really a traditional bread, either, the amount of restaurants that specialize in shortbread are few. On such recommendation sites as Yelp, you’re more likely to find people praising the presence of Walker’s mass-produced products than the homemade, genuine article.

Unsurprisingly, however, a bakery in New York City that makes a notable shortbread is aptly named SCRATCHBread, found in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Their shortbread is described as thick and moist, true marks of a freshly made shortbread–and so different from the dry, preservative-laden ones you buy out of the tartan box. They’re also known for their scones and savory breads, so you can bet they pay lots of attention to the simpler kinds of sweets, like shortbread, than more heavily done confections.

1069 Bedford Ave (between Clifton Pl & Greene Ave), Bedford Stuyvesant

Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“The Parma loaf is my favorite (soft pillowy inside, fennel on top and a crust of parmesan on the botton), but I also adore the focaccio, shortbread, and scones, and my husband loves the brownies.”–Jessica S.

“Shortbread: Also yum. Very thick and moist, as opposed to the more crumbly shortbreads. Addictive.”–Erin T.


If you’re looking for something a little fancier than a plain stick of shortbread, check out Sant Ambroeus on the Upper East Side. You may have to shell out a little bit more to celebrate the special day, but what you’ll get is way better than simple shortbread: for a dessert, the restaurant makes a fruit tart with a shortbread crust. Filled with candied raspberries, the tart is sweet but not overly so–the perfect description for both the fruit and the bread.

Sant Ambroeus
1000 Madison Ave (between 77th St & 78th St)

Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“I also got the raspberry short bread cookie. It basically melted in my mouth. The shortbread part was perfectly delicate and the raspberry was very good.”–Joanna L.

“Sant Ambroeus makes great gelato and shortbread cookies. It’s a nice place to have brunch with a friend.”–Nicholas S.