Pinnies and Poppy Seeds
When you think about Scotland, what do you associate with it? Haggis? Kilts? The Loch Ness Monster? Surely shortbread springs to mind amongst that list. With evidence of the preparation of shortbread dating back to the 12th century, it was Mary Queen of Scots who is accredited to refining the recipe in the 16th century. Back then, shortbread was considered a luxury and was reserved for Christmas and Hogmanay.
Skip forward a few centuries and shortbread has become an iconic Scottish biscuit that tourists buy in bulk to return home with. Pinnies and Poppy Seeds have taken the traditional Scottish biscuit and added an artisanal spin to create delicious shortbread with unique flavours, using only local and Scottish ingredients.
21st Century Shortbread
Jennifer Hunter had been working in a local fudge shop where customers would regularly ask where they could find fresh shortbread. Despite the shop not actually offering any, Jennifer was kind enough to bake some in her spare time and offered it through the fudge shop. After trialling and perfecting her recipes, Jennifer saw a gap in the market for artisan shortbread and set herself up selling in local Farmer’s Markets. After a successful couple of years, she took the leap and converted an old Danish bakery just off Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile, now Pinnies and Poppy Seeds, which has been thriving for the past 7 years.
The name comes from a combination of Jennifer’s American and Scottish lives. ‘Pinnies’ being the British word for an apron, and ‘Poppies’ are the state flower of California, where she’s from!
As soon as you step through their door you’re greeted by the most delicious scent of freshly baked shortbread. With an extensive range of around 40 special shortbread creations, an inviting display of 5 flavours are rotated each day, with the all butter shortbread holding a permanent spot being the most popular after all!
Channelling inspiration from the combination of favourite tastes with shortbread, customer requests, and looking for ideas from other bakeries, they are not short of creative and delicious shortbread flavours.
Just to name a few of our favourite sounding flavours:
Pistachio and rose
Lavender and white chocolate
Cinnamon and sugar
Dark chocolate and orange
Taking the Biscuit…
On average, an astonishing amount of around 1,000 pieces of shortbread are baked each day!! And that’s just a normal day, consider how popular this hidden treasure is during the likes of the Edinburgh Fringe and around the Christmas Holidays!
Jennifer leads by example and puts a lot of focus on waste management. Unlike a lot of bakeries that wake up early to make large batches, Jennifer bakes her shortbread throughout the day to meet the demand.
When Pinnies and Poppy Seeds have the time, they are always looking for other creations to bake. On display were some rather good looking sea salted caramel, caramel hazelnut praline cups and big slabs of brownie. Recently, the shop challenged themselves by attempting to run a different brownie for each day of the month while trying to keep up with the demand for different flavours of shortbread!
Pinnies and Poppy Seeds also sell rather quirky ingredients you can use for your own baking with smoked sugar, edible petals, marshmallow or orange essence and granola!
If this has made you as hungry as it has me writing this, then pop in for a visit when you’re next in Edinburgh, or keep an eye out for any special pieces of baking and new treats they may offer by following them on Instagram @pinnies_poppies