Inspirational shortbread cookies for International Women’s Day

Simple, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies to share with your favourite inspirational women. 

Unpopular opinion: I hate Hamilton the musical. Not only does it bomb the Bechdel test (don’t even get me started on the women’s characters!), but its popularity rides on ideals of inclusivity and representation, only to be completely contradicted by a whitewashed plot that ignores people of colour from the historical narrative.

Yes, its predominately black and Latino cast is one small step in injecting more diversity to an otherwise affluent theatre crowd; but that’s exactly what distracts so many—Tony committee members included—from the problematic retelling of America’s founding fathers. And, did we really need more mainstream stories with your everyday white saviour trope?

I left the theatre especially frustrated, feeling deceived.

The point of the story, though, isn’t to harp on my hatred for Hamilton (I got much of that out of my system on the way home from the show), but to reaffirm my critical interpretation of this cultural phenomenon from my POV as a POC. 

Because when International Women’s Day rolls around, I’m reminded of how proud I am to be the sum of my unique experiences as a Chinese woman; which have shaped my perspective of, well, everything. 

The way only women or LGBTQ individuals will fully understand the significance of saying, “Text me when you get home!” or the way only Asian people can truly feel moved in seeing themselves reflected in Crazy Rich Asians—no matter how sane or broke you are; it’s days like IWD that I take pride in being a product of racism, stereotyping, appropriation, fetishism, misogyny, prejudice, discrimination and ignorance. That’s because it’s made me, and so many others, all the more determined to fight for equality.

So, if you’re asking me: is International Women’s Day really necessary? Yesterday, today, tomorrow and every other damn day, yes. 

In the making

✔ I got these super cheap, super cute cookie stamps from Japanese variety store Oomomo. These tiny little clip-on pieces are definitely tedious – and guaranteed you will lose some – so invest in a couple sets, especially so you have more than just two of each letter. 

✔ Dust your cookie stamps with flour before pressing into the dough, so the two don’t stick together. I used a little paintbrush to brush off excess flour. 

✔ Chill, chill chill. I set the ball of dough in the freezer overnight, plus out on the patio (in -2°C weather) after I cut and stamped them out. It’ll help stop the spread and keep more defined designs of your cookie stamp. 

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Inspirational shortbread cookies

  • Servings: 28-33 cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Simple, buttery, melt-in-your mouth shortbread cookies to share with the most inspirational women in your life.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (375 grams) 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (30 grams) 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (228 grams) 
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
  •  1/2 cup powdered sugar (60 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 egg
  • Purple gel food colouring (optional) 

Directions

  1.  In a stand mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar. Once light and fluffy, add powdered sugar.
  2. Add in the egg and vanilla. 
  3. Once well combined, mix in the remaining dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch and salt.
  4. Drop in food colouring. 
  5. Divide the dough into two balls refrigerate for at least two hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 240°F.
  7. Working with one ball at a time, roll out dough in 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and stamp with words of inspiration! 
  8. Option to chill again for 10 minutes, to get really defined designs and edges for your cookies. 
  9. Bake for around 8 minutes, until bottom is lightly browned. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. 
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