Annnnd we're back.
Being off the radar for so long from the blogging world, it's hard to approach the proper tone upon returning. Will anyone still want to read this? Have I been unfollowed by the world? Is this thing on? *tap tap* Are those... crickets?
For whatever the reason, the spirit has not moved my gustatory gray matter in a blue moon. It's not like I haven't tried, mind you. My appetite for Food Network shows remains voracious. I consume daily helpings of food blogs, and I'm certainly meeting the RDA of recipes and food photography. My consumption remains the same, but my execution and production just ain't what it used to be.
In a grand attempt to swing the balance back to normal, I recently attempted a feat not for the faint of heart. Last week, while beginning to succumb to some strange pneumonia like ick that robbed my breath, motivation and my appetite, I went there. The grocery store. The frozen food aisle to be exact. As I stood before my two trusted old friends who've guided me through good times and bad, I waited for it. The internal lightbulb that had so eagerly glowed so many times before. The recognition was there, but the love.. the love was no more.
I stood before Ben and Jerry asking for sweet creamy divine intervention, and I got nothing. Not a twinkle, a flash or a glimmer.
I. Didn't. Want. Ice cream.
And this is how I knew I'd hit my rock bottom.
And now, I stand before you a changed woman. Having crawled out of that cold dark aisle of despair, ice creamless and uninspired, I'm back. This random recipe popped into my head last night and literally was the first thing that's sounded good to me in weeks. Have I ever had it before? Nope. Ever even made shortbread previously? That's a negative ghost rider. Sometimes we can't pick or plan for what brings us back, we just need to accept it and be happy to be there.
Walnut Brown Sugar Shortbread Bars
(Recipe found at Lottie and Doof.)
Makes 2-3 dozen bars
4 sticks (1 lb) plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
9 ounces brown sugar
5 ounces white sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 pound 3 ounces organic King Arthur bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla until combined, then mix in dry ingredients.
Divide dough evenly into prepared sheet trays, spreading smooth and level (I used a rolling pin). Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake at 325° until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Let cool completely before cutting into bars.