Grandma Vardon’s Shortbread

Grandma Vardon was born in 1902.  She was so much fun.

My grandparents Vardon as I remember them on the porch of their house at 504 Grosvenor St.  1958

My grandparents Vardon as I remember them on the porch of their house in London at              504 Grosvenor St.  1958

When she was younger she played the piano in silent movies.  There is a story about the movie house catching fire during a showing and Grandma played the piano as patrons filed out until she gradually was overcome by smoke and fell off the piano stool.  In her later years she took up the accordion which she would tote to family gatherings and serenade us with Tennessee Waltz or any number of polkas.

I always waited at Christmas for her shortbread and have a recipe that I scribbled down as she told it to me in about 1970.  I am happy to share it with you and you can share it too. But if you do, please call it Grandma Vardon’s Shortbread.

It is so simple, but so good. And even better after it has aged a few days. I am going to make some this weekend and take them this Christmas to give to her great-great grandchildren!

Grandma Vardon’s Shortbread.Grandma Vardon's Shortbread

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 lb softened Butter

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp Vanilla extract

Cream well with a wooden spoon.

Add 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

and 4 cups of flour (not more)

Keep mixing until you have a soft ball. Turn out on a board and knead. Roll out flat and cut out cookies.

Cook at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes, watching closely as they brown quickly and it is easy to burn them.

We used to make these in circles and bells and Christmas trees and decorate them with sugar sprinkles or one of those little silver sugar balls.

This is a great way to remember my long-gone Grandma Vardon (1902-1973) at Christmas. It seems like yesterday.



6 thoughts on “Grandma Vardon’s Shortbread

  1. Waaaooo!! these are mouth watering and I can imagine my own grandchildren scampering over the them. Will I spoil the recipe if I sprinkled a few grain of simsim or finely crushed pea nuts? thanks for sharing the recipe and Merry Xmas. Phinny

    • Grandma Vardon would never have imagined that her recipe would be used in Uganda!!! There are lots of things that would be good on top…perhaps to make them your own. Nuts, sugar,dried fruit, candied cherries, icing. You name it. Think of Canada when you eat these at Christmas.

    • My grandfather Vardon was Joseph Alison Vardon and his father was Maurice Major Vardon. I have traced some of that family back to a Robert Vardon who was in the British Navy and took part in the Penobscot battle in the American Revolution. Sorry for the delay in responding. I have been away and missed this comment.

    • Grandpa Vardon’s name was Joseph Allison Vardon. 1897-1981 His father was Maurice Major Vardon (1856-1919) and his father was Joseph Turner Vardon (1830-1906) (born in Nova Scotia and died in Ontario.Married to Mary Jane Major) His father was Robert Buffington Vardon (1802-1656) … And his father was Robert Vardon (1754-1838) Born in England and died in Nova Scotia. He was in the British Navy during the American Revolution and on one of the British ships that held off the Americans at the battle of Penobscot. Does your husband’s family fit in there anywhere?

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