Paw print shortbread

June 2001 - June 2013

I’ve been putting off this post for quite sometime. I made these biscuits to celebrate the life of my dog, Shao-Lin, who passed away 40 days ago but it’s still difficult for me to talk about him. He was so special and beloved! Although he was no saint everybody was fond of him – even the people he bit πŸ˜› I’ve had other dogs – I still have one – and a big part of my life is dedicated to dogs so I can honestly say that Shao-Lin was one of a kind: amazingly intelligent and deeply sensitive and loving (e.g. whenever I cried ‘ouch!’ he would stop whatever he was doing and come running and lick my face). And above all he was a fighter. His medical record begins with pneumonia when he was 3 months old and ends up with chronic renal failure, which he fought for over two years after enduring four sessions of haemodialysis – he went from 37lb to 26lb in less than a month! When he was 5, the vet said: ‘if he had other owners, he would have already died!’. But no, he was not an anaemic frail dog. Quite the opposite: he was extremely vivacious until his last two weeks! He loved running after pigeons (his deadly enemies), doing tricks and cavorting. And walking. There was nothing he loved doing more than walking – I sometimes called him Johnnie Walker πŸ™‚ My house, once full of joy and sound, now feels empty and quiet. I cannot begin to describe how much I miss him, not one day goes by that I don’t think of him. Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so gloomy. Anyways, on with the recipe!

paw print shortbread


200g unsalted butter, cold and diced
90g sugar
200g flour
90g potato flour

100g semi-sweet/milk chocolate, melted

paw print shortbread

Preheat oven to 200Β°C and line 2 baking trays with parchment.
Mix all the ingredients with your hands and shape as desired. Bake for about 18 minutes or until the edges start to turn pale golden. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.
Put the melted chocolate in a piping bag (preferably a disposable one!) and draw the pattern of your choice.


NOTES: I had never used piping bags with chocolate so I fitted mine with a nozzle (Wilton’s #3). Big mistake. Huge mistake! It was a nasty job to clean it.
I don’t see many people using potato flour but it gives a nice flavour to this shortbread and makes for crispier biscuits. You could use cornflour instead but, if you decide to buy it, I’ll soon be posting a GF biscuit made with potato flour (400g). Also, bread made with potato flour is softer, moister and easier to shape. Give it a try πŸ™‚
You can roll the dough into balls but I chose to pat it down (it kept sticking to the rolling pin and I didn’t want to add flour) and cut 4cm circles. I would’ve gotten about 50 biscuits but I cut twoΒ fairly large dogs too πŸ˜›


44 responses to “Paw print shortbread

  1. Aww, Erika… I feel your sadness! And he lived on through all those battles because of his love for you, his human, and the love he felt from you! I am truly saddened and my eyes are quite watery at the moment… Sorry! Your cookies and polish are a beautiful tribute to him. My daughter Charlotte loves shortbread and asked to bake some just the other day. I refused her because it’s 35 degrees here, but as soon as this heat wave is over I will show her these and have her bake them! You’ll never get over his loss, but it will get easier.


    • Thank you, dear! I confess I had to stop writing many times to dry my tears but I know he wouldn’t like to see me sad so I do my best and try to remember him jumping and chasing pigeons. I believe this dough is soft enough to be used with a cookie press, if you have one, so it would be lots of fun for Charlotte πŸ™‚


  2. Oh, Erika! I’m so sorry for your loss… would you believe we lost Porter, our beloved Golden Retriever, just two days ago? We are so sad, he was such a sweet companion, and truly a member of our family. It’s so strange not having him around the house. I know just how you are feeling. Your cookies (and your manicure) are a beautiful tribute to Shao-Lin. I can see from the pictures what a sweet dog he must have been. Hang in there, dear. ❀


    • Thanks for your sweet words, Allie! I’m sorry for your loss too. Maybe one day we’ll find Porter and Shao playing together in heaven’s yards πŸ™‚ All the best for you and your family!


  3. Sorry to hear about your loss Erika. These biscuits are a great way to remember all the good memories you had with Shao-Lin and they do look delicious! By the way, I love the paw pattern on your nails! πŸ™‚


  4. I remember him following Erika everywhere at the house, especially to the kitchen where, you all know, delicious things are kept πŸ™‚
    I miss him… I truly liked him, and I really think he liked me back too.


  5. Hi, Erica. I haven’t commented on your blog before but felt I had to comment on this post. I am so sorry for your loss of Shao-Lin. The worst thing about dogs is that we get to keep them with us for such a short time! I am sitting here in tears. We had to say good-bye to our beloved golden 6 months ago. My daily thoughts of him still bring tears to my eyes. I know I will always miss him. A dog is no different than a person in that they can’t be replaced. They are their own unique beings. Shao-Lin has a piece of your heart forever.There can be more dogs in your life, but they will have their own part of your heart. πŸ™‚ Your photos and these cookies are a lovely and loving tribute!


  6. Sorry to hear about your loss. Beautiful post in honor of your dog. I lost my lab mix a few months ago and it was hard. I dreamt about her the other day. Made me cry but it’s a blessing to have the memories.


    • Thank you, Maryanne! It was hard – and still is. What consoles me is that he wasn’t in pain (that’s the only good thing about renal disease) and when I look at his photographs I see how happy he was.


  7. Very mice! I love shortbread and I am so sorry for your loss. It has just been a little longer a time that my Gentle-Giant , Mark, went to Doggie Heaven. He was a rescue puppy who had an easy life with us.He was well-loved and loving.Our, ‘his’ cats are having a hard time adjusting. We understand.


  8. Aww Im sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine. I have a doggie Ginger she’s a jackchi and the love of my life – so I can only begin to feel what you do. Just know he’s in a better place know πŸ™‚


  9. I just came across this post today. Let me say that I am very sorry for the loss of your beloved dog. Why can’t pets live forever? It’s good that you have pics and fond memories. Keep in mind they passed the rainbow bridge and are in pet heaven now. To end this post in a more positive mood: Love your cookies, they look awesome. Also your little paw on your thumb.


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