Sometimes all you need is one piece of inspiration to spur several great ideas, especially when it comes to recipe writing. Take our SWAT team for example, where each week The Daily Meal’s editors are asked to develop recipes based on one common theme or ingredient, and each week the results are endless. Like our week with olive oil, which resulted in imaginative and delicious recipes like olive oil-poached fish and a flavorful ramp pesto, or when we worked with the theme "food on a stick" and created recipes like swordfish spiedini and peanut butter marshmallow puppies.
Developing recipes under one theme was the idea for a recent recipe contest, where several food bloggers were asked to develop a recipe using one common ingredient: shortbread cookies. Hosted by Walkers Shortbread, renowned shortbread bakers since 1898, the event asked each blogger to develop a dessert recipe for cakes, pies, tarts, and puddings, and we’re lucky enough to share the results.
Upon surveying the recipes, you’ll see a lot of common themes for working with shortbread cookies. For one, you’ll see that many bloggers agreed that a bright, fresh, and fruity flavor, such as Meyer lemon juice or raspberries, is the perfect complement to the warm and buttery essence of shortbread cookies. Another common theme you’ll see throughout the recipes is that crushed shortbread cookies make a fantastic crust. And along with common themes, you’ll see unique and innovative ideas, like mixing shortbread crumbs into a pudding for not only texture but added flavor, or how adding savory ingredients such as thyme or salt can enhance and improve the flavors of a dessert.
As cooks we inherently look to food as our inspiration, but never do we see such great results as when we are given the challenge of developing recipes based around one ingredient. These six recipes demonstrate just how delicious dessert can get with the help of a shortbread cookie.