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 packed them into festive wrap, knotted a green ribbon around the top, and gifted his treats to relatives and friends. They were a hit at every gathering. Such 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’s Shortbread was founded 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.
Across the pond in Glasgow, Scotland, is where Mary learned baking secrets from her mother and French grandmother. Her French connection gave her Scottish treats a certain je ne sais quoi? And we’ll never know what that is because the recipe is top secret, passed down from generation to generation.
What we do know is that Mary’s strong belief in her high quality shortbread being made in small batches from the finest ingredients; including pure creamery butter, premium Canadian flour, and Belgian chocolate, is at the heart of her shortbread, and even though she passed on, her recipe and process carry forward.
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.