Written By – Joseph Scaglione
Ten Christmas’ ago my dad started baking holiday shortbread. He stayed up well into the morning making batches of delicious, buttery, melt-away, perfectly balanced gems. He packs them in festive wrap, knots a green ribbon around the top, and gives his treats to relatives and friends. They were a hit at every gathering. A simple recipe, all my dad adds is vanilla for flavour. Then I discovered Mary Macleod’s Shortbread at Toronto’s One of A Kind Show, and noticed one unique addition to her shortbread: chocolate.
Mary Macleod founded her shortbread company in 1981. She baked her signature Chocolate Crunch shortbread from a small shop under the marquee of the Capital Theatre in Toronto. She owned the first Canadian business devoted to artisanal shortbread. Mary’s shortbread became an instant hit, locally, and after 35 years in Toronto, she found international fame.
Baking across the pond in Glasgow, Scotland, Mary adopted baking secrets from her mother and French grandmother. Her French connection gave her Scottish treats a certain je ne sais quoi? Nobody knows what that je ne sais quoi is because Mary’s recipe is a Macleod family secret.
Mary believes in producing her high quality shortbread in small batches from fine ingredients. Pure creamery butter, premium Canadian flour, and Belgian chocolate, is at the heart of her shortbread. Mary Macleod died in 2016, yet her recipe and process carries on.
Mary and her daughter in-law Sharon expanded the product line beyond Chocolate Crunch to include dutch chocolate, espresso chocolate, butterscotch, and maple crunch. Feel free to browse Mary’s website and order a batch for Mother’s Day here: https://marymacleod.com/
You can also find Mary Macleod’s Shortbread cookies at select gourmet shops and boutiques across Canada.