The #1 question I get is “how on earth did you start baking?” For those of you who don’t know me, I need to give you a little background on me to better understand why people are so shocked at this new baking revelation. I spent pretty much my entire adult life in the military, 23 years to be exact, until I retired in 2015. In that 23 years, I spent precisely 2.3 minutes in the kitchen baking. I have done my fair share of cooking over the years, but baking?!?! Nope!
Fast forward to 2017 when my wife and I had the idea of going on a vacation with our parents, while we are all still healthy enough to enjoy a little get away. We decided to go to Hawaii with my parents who had never been there before, so this was the perfect opportunity to go. It was the day before we were to head back to Minnesota and we popped in to a local shop selling shortbread cookies. Truth be told, I was across the street watching football and enjoying an adult beverage at a local watering hole, while my wife and mother were shopping. They texted to let me know where they were, and they said those 2 magic words… FREE SAMPLES. Yup, be right there! So off I go to help myself to my fair share of free samples; dark chocolate coconut, peppermint white chocolate, dark chocolate kona coffee, etc. These cookies were amazing, absolutely delicious! Then it hit me, do I really want to pay shipping and handling to have these cookies shipped from Hawaii to Minnesota throughout the year…. I don’t think so. In all honesty, I didn’t even look into it to see how much it would cost, so I truly have no clue.
So, as I’m savoring every bite and contemplating how I am going to be able to have these year-round whenever I want, it came to me. “I wonder if I could just make them myself?” Out comes the phone and a quick search for shortbread cookie recipes on the internet, voila I had a recipe in just over a minute. “That’s it, 4 ingredients, really? I can totally do this myself”. This trip was just before Christmas, so my first batch was a batch of frosted shortbread Christmas cookies for a family gathering. They turned out delicious, despite my complete inability to ice these cookies to make them look even remotely close to a tree.
Of course I can’t just leave well enough alone and just focus on shortbread cookies, oh no, it has spiraled out of control to now include experimenting with other flavors of cookies (red velvet, monster, strawberry cheesecake), mini Bundt cakes, pop tarts, granola bars, and on and on… So, there you have it, a random visit to a cookie store uncovered a baking passion that has lots of folks scratching their heads.