Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meet Jenna Short of Shortbread NYC

I had the distinct pleasure to meet and interview a young, talented baker and owner of Shorbread NYC, Jenna Short.  Inspired by Jenna's passion for whimsical, quality baked goods, I visited her in her Upper West Side studio yesterday where she not only showed me where all the magic happens but she gave me a glimpse into the inner workings of a true baking genius. 

About Shortbread NYC:
Jenna started Shortbread about 3 years ago as a natural extension of her beloved hobby, baking.  As a young woman with special dietary needs (she's allergic to dairy), she was on a mission to produce great tasting baked goods, using only the best (and the most natural) ingredients but also making them special-diet friendly.  Focusing on gluten free, vegan, dairy free, Kosher, or sugar free goods (if needed), Shortbread does a great job of suiting challenging palettes.

But the best part about Shortbread is the creativity and the care that Jenna pours into each and every treat.  "There's a real power...an energy in the hands," Jenna says, meaning that the meticulous dedication she puts into each cookie, shortbread, cupcake or what have you really makes a difference in taste.  "You can taste when something has been made in a mass produced bakery and when it's prepared just for you by an individual." I agree and think that she's right to keep her business small and focused. 

The Goodies:
I was awed by the eclectic and oh so colorful platter of goodies that Jenna laid out for me, representing a sampling of her sweet menu.  Although I wanted to taste each and every thing, it wasn't humanly possible, so I ended up taking a lot of it home and sharing with Dan and also with my co-workers, Nancy and Leann.

Here are the highlights of what I tried and the items that stood out to me:

Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread - This was hands-down my favorite item. I'm a sucker for good shortbread and have made it a couple of times in my kitchen.  Jenna's version hit it out of the park, as the dough had an airy crunch to it.  Substituting whole wheat flour and Earth Balance butter for full fat ingredients, it tasted light and earthy.  I also loved the amazing vegan chocolate and chopped hazelnuts, drizzled on one side of the cookie.  To die for!

Blueberry Cheesecake Truffle Lollipops - Wow! Doesn't that title just say it all? These bite sized balls of goodness incorporate a rich and tangy fruit/cream cheese filling that's coated in a thin blanket of white chocolate.  I loved how the chocolate rounded out the blueberry flavor with a hint of creaminess and silkiness.

Pacman and Cassette Tape Cupcakes - Jenna made these in honor of her birthday this past weekend that had an 80's theme.  I loved how fun and whimsical the cupcakes looked--their colorful sugar decals just made you smile.  And underneath the endearing decor lay really moist and light-as-air red velvet and vanilla cupcakes.  I enjoyed both flavors and appreciated their size, which was somewhere between a mini and a full sized cupcake. It was just right.

Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Coconut Fleur de Sel Bites - These were little vegan brownie bites that were oh so rich and juxtaposed sweet and salty flavors.  The topping was gooey and salty from the caramel and fleur de sel and the actual brownie bite was as chocolatey as it gets.  What a great combination for both sweet and savory lovers alike!

To watch my interview with Jenna click here. She answers more questions about her company and her amazing creations.  You'll really get a feel for her fun personality and her uncompromising drive for her business.  Enjoy!

For more information about Shorbread NYC, check out their website.  Feel free to peruse the menu and shop. You won't regret it.


  1. Thanks for posting about ShortBread NYC. I am really excited to learn about another gluten-free baked goods option in the city!

  2. You're so welcome Erin. Hope you enjoy...

  3. fun!! kudos to Jenna for pursuing her passion :)



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