July 26, 2016


Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she's dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.

I will always have a sweet tooth, which is one of the reasons I will always work out. I can pass on chips with willpower, but put a slice of cheesecake with drizzly blackberry sauce in front of me and my self-control is out the window. In the past 6 months, I have started making sweet treats a regular afternoon habit. 

This is now something I, too, look forward to every day and the kids are picking up on my habits. We recently found this amazing shortbread recipe from another friend and it is so simple I taught my oldest daughter how to make it completely on her own. At around 3 they start asking for a snack and more often than not, we have these cookies. I always have the ingredients on hand and they are fast to whip up when you need a sweet fix unexpectedly.

The kids love to drag out our cookie cutters (that don't usually get used until Christmastime) and they make all sorts of fun shapes and sizes. I love seeing them get creative, picking out which one they will eat when the cookies come out of the oven.

This recipe is seriously so easy I almost debated whether or not to share, but it has become such a staple in our home I thought it may bring some joy to you out there as well. Always, always have with coffee if you can, and it makes the day that much brighter.

2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, salt (do not use coarse salt). Work the butter in gradually until well mixed, using an electric mixer (sometimes it takes a minute for it to start "congealing". Add a few drops of cold water if necessary.)
Place dough on floured surface and pat out (do not roll) to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Prick several times in center with a fork to make a design.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 20-22 minutes, until golden.
Makes 24-28 cookies.