As a child in a land far away, my mother used to take me to the only Western bakery at the time in the city where I grew up, on special occasions. I can never forget the smell of sweet butter from blocks away. The fragrance became more and more intoxicating as we got closer and closer to the glass box like bakery. The two large dark thick oak framed glass doors with shiny thick brass bar handles are like the gates to a new found paradise. As they opened slowly, my eyes were greeted with shining glass counter cases, glittering silvery trays, beautiful colors and shapes of cookies, pastries, breads and cakes. My heart leaped with joy and excitement that I could break out in a dance if it were proper. The one cookie which captured me was the checkerboard cookie, a buttery square shaped shortbread cookie with the checkers alternated in vanilla and chocolate flavors. I would break the cookie to the small checker square pieces, tasting each square on its own and tasting the mixed checkers together. I would examine the construction of the cookie and wondered in my mind how it was put together. Time passed and the memory of this one cookie along with the smell of sweet butter seemed to have faded.
Years later and after having tasted many desserts as I am never too full to make room for sweets, I did not think of the checkerboard cookie nor did I seek it out in the slightest way until sometime last year. As I walked into the elevator of my apartment building, an almost forgotten scent awaited me. Trapped in the tiny elevator was the sweet aroma of butter from freshly baked goodies seeping through another apartment. It was as though a part of my soul which had laid sleeping for all these years suddenly awoke. The memories of those large glass doors, the glass cased, the silver trays and that one curiously made checkerboard cookie swept over me like a flood. It was a bitter sweet memory as it reminded me of what has been lost and gained in these years.
It has never occurred to me to pursue baking until now. My first experiment, as you may have predicted, was the checkerboard cookie. From there, I explored further on shortbread cookies, creating several signature flavors of my own such as the Kenyan Spiced Tea Cookie and Sesame Peanut Shortbread Cookie. My new found passion for baking combined with the love of afternoon tea led me to the creation of this site to share with you all things Twee-tea-licious, sweets for tea time and any time.