In Canada, where I grew up, there is a coffee-shop chain called Timothy’s. To be perfectly honest, there is nothing special about their coffee or their stores, and given the choice, I’d almost always choose Bridgehead, Starbucks, or even Tim Horton’s for my cup of coffee. One item on their menu, however, is very special. I don’t remember when I first had one of Timothy’s Toblerone Shortbread Cookies, but I remember thinking that it was possibly the most delicious, indulgent, over-the-top and worth it cookie that I’d ever had, home-baked goods aside.
Slightly different from what you might expect, each TTSC cookie contains, not chopped pieces of Toblerone, but a single piece of full-sized Toblerone, wrapped in a generous amount of buttery, crumbly shortbread. Mmmm.
Somewhat bizarrely, given my feelings about these cookies, I had completely forgotten about this delicious treat until recently. My remembrance was triggered by a jumbo bar of Toblerone, included as part of a care package Andrew’s parents brought over when they visited us two weekends ago. On spying that bar of chocolately, nougaty goodness, I suddenly remembered these cookies, and resolved to make them as soon as possible.
In my haste to recapture (one of) the taste(s) of my youth, I didn’t bother to properly consider the needs of this recipe. Having never made shortbread before, I went straight to my sister, my go-to source for all things baking, and asked her for one. She promptly took out a book of recipes and handed me two index cards, each of which gave a recipe for shortbread cookies, and neither of which gave any clue to the recipe’s origin. (Actually, untrue: one was for “Honey’s Shortbread”, but neither one of us had any idea who Honey might have been.) Not one to be put off my baking, I chose one (not Honey’s), and marched bravely ahead.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, my experiment wasn’t entirely successful. See how the cookies are all broken at the edges? They fell apart when I was removing them from the cookie sheet, a sure sign of too much butter. The cookies also ended up being much too crumbly, necessitating a napkin held under one’s chin while eating them, to avoid getting shortbread all over oneself.
A few quick google searches yielded some illuminating information about shortbread, information that I maybe should have sought out before I attempted these cookies. As well as a bit too much butter, the mysterious recipe I used also called for 1/2 cup of cornflour, which contributes to the “sandy” effect typical of good shortbread. However, the cornflour compromises the strength of the finished product, making it less than ideal if you want your shortbread to hold anything. Kneading the dough a bit more would apparently have made it a bit tougher, as would adding an egg.
Oh, well- hindsight is always 20/20, and perhaps this is my comeuppance for baking rashly ahead, without sufficient research. So, I won’t be posting a recipe for these today, but will keep searching for the perfect shortbread recipe with which to recreate my dream Timothy’s cookie.
(Disclaimer: Although the shortbread recipe I used wasn’t suitable for my purpose, it was nonetheless delicious, and would probably make an excellent cookie, so long as you didn’t want to add much to it. Original recipe is pictured below.)