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Bigger Bolder Irish Shortbread For Trying Times

We all need a big, buttery cookie in these trying times.
We all need a big, buttery cookie in these trying times. Plus, you can play Jenga with it!

In a crisis, some people hoard toilet paper.

I bake.

And apparently, from the looks of social media, I’m not the only one. Peppering the updates of so many of my friends lately are photos and confessions of baking to ease the mind or merely distract from the news of late.

I readily admit that I sometimes fall victim to procrastibaking — ignoring writing deadlines only to bake a batch of cookies instead. Stress baking is merely its close cousin.

Psychologists have explained that those who hoard toilet paper or empty grocery shelves in a panic are only trying to exercise control in a world that now seems very much out of our hands. We can’t guarantee we won’t catch a deadly coronavirus. But darned if we can’t make sure our pantries and cupboards are filled to capacity.

And so, I bake. Because if I’m going down, I’m doing so fighting — and with a ready-steady supply of buttery sweet treats.

“Bigger Bolder Irish Shortbread” is ideal at times like this. It’s from the new cookbook, “Bigger Bolder Baking: A Fearless Approach to Baking Anytime, Anywhere” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by Gemma Stafford, an Irish-born chef and creator of the YouTube baking show, “Bigger Bolder Baking,” who now makes her home in Los Angeles.

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