Every year, our school’s semi formal is held on the Thursday before the long Family Day week. Last year, my friends Huilin and Christina, and I had decided to go to semi. As it turned out, my dad decided that we should go skiing in Quebec instead. So Huilin, Christina, and I made a pact that we would definitely go to semi in junior year.
This year, I bought a ticket. I went shopping in my best friend Jenny’s closet and borrowed with one of her never-seen-the-light-of-day dresses. I chose heels out of my current collection of two pairs. I even painted my nails a bright, dark pink, despite the fact that nail polish is quite impractical for a girl who compulsive washes her hands because they just feel “sticky, who as a baker sticks her hands into bread doughs, who has to wash the dishes from her baking adventures.
And then Huilin said she didn’t want to go to semi formal. And my friend who was supposed to be my date bailed on me. As disappointed as I was, I decided not to let anything ruin my night. I danced until I felt wobbly from the three-and-a-half inch heels and sweat poured down my face. I danced until I felt exhausted from the school day and the lack of sleep the night before. I danced until my head and heart pounded in rhythm with the bass.
After two hours, I was wiped and ravenous. I spent the next hour swaying half-heartedly to the music and checking the time on my phone every ten minutes. A group of my friends was going out to eat dinner after the dance and suddenly I couldn't wait for it to be over. While waiting for the rest of my friends to retrieve their jackets from the coat check, I sat down and took my heels off. Upon stretching my feet, I discovered that my right ankle was throbbing. Oh, fun, I thought drily. These heels are my shoes home. As everyone speed-walked to the subway station, I hobbled along the wet streets, each step a little more painful than the last. At last, I made it to the subway station and we went to eat
2AM snack dinner at a hot pot restaurant.
The next morning began the long weekend. I tried to sleep in, but the sunlight filtered through the blinds and awoke me. I cleaned my room, went to get my health card replaced, and watched a movie with a friend. Then I baked these Parmesan Sundried Tomato Pumpkin Seed Pesto Shortbread Cookies.
These savoury cookies and tangy and nutty, salty and cheesy, and pack a flavour punch. Like all shortbread cookies, they’re subtly addictive. They are the cookies you’d risk getting kicked out of the library for (Hi Tammy), sneaking surreptitious bites of buttery goodness.
Savoury Parmesan Sundried Tomato Pumpkin Seed Pesto Shortbread Rounds
Yield: 16 wedges
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup sundried tomato pumpkin seed pesto
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix flour, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, and garlic powder in processor. Add butter and, using on/off turns, process until dough begins to come together.
Gather dough into ball. Divide dough in half. Flatten each disc until it is roughly half an inch thick. Place two rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and using a knife, cut each disc into eight wedges. Rearrange the shortbread so that there is some room in between each triangle. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over.
Bake shortbread rounds until tops are dry and bottoms are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer shortbread rounds to rack and cool completely.