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few weeks ago the wonderful folks over at Ancestry
reached out asking if I’d like to partner together. I’ve always found family history and genetics SO interesting so I immediately said yes!
They sent me one of their AncestryDNA Kits, which can actually show you two times more geographic detail than any other DNA test.
So, are you curious to hear what my DNA results revealed…?
(I certainly was.)
The test showed that I’m about 54% British, specifically 35% from Ireland / Scotland / Wales with a likelihood that my family is from northeast and central Scotland. No big surprise there since my mom was born in Scotland and I actually have British citizenship!
It was super interesting to see the geographic detail the test showed. I think it’s just crazy that your DNA can reveal the path your ancestors took that led you to exactly where you are right now.
What was a total surprise is that I’m 8% Native American! What?!
Since this covers both North & South America, I’m thinking it must come from my paternal grandfather’s side since he’s Honduran.
The rest of my DNA is mostly south and southwest European, which also makes sense based off my great grandparents’ history.
What’s really cool about the AncestryDNA Kits test is that you can discover potential relatives through DNA matching to people who have taken the AncestryDNA test. I was shocked to see literally hundreds of my extended relatives were matched, including first and second cousins! I sent the list of potential relatives to my mom and sure enough she recognized a bunch of the names.
You can also connect your AncestryDNA results to a family tree and start to really build out an understanding and history of your heritage. I just think it’s such a special thing to connect to your ancestors and to imagine with better clarity what their lives must’ve been like and what they had to overcome for you to live today.
If you’re interested in revealing your own family story, click here to purchase an AncestryDNA kit. The kits make a great gift, too!
Being that such a large part of my heritage is Scottish, I wanted to share a Scottish-inspired recipe with you!
Since shortbread is a Scottish biscuit cookie and we all adore cookies in the Handle the Heat community, I thought this Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookie recipe would be the perfect creation inspired by my results.
I did a little Internet sleuthing and apparently the invention of shortbread has often been credited to Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th century. The popular triangle shape for shortbread was inspired by the shape of fabric pieces used to make petticoats during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Who knew?!
I deviated from the traditional recipe by using a higher ratio of sugar to make these cookies sweeter and using brown sugar for a deeper complexity of flavor. Since I increased the sugar, I wanted to make sure I used a more traditional Scottish ingredient to balance things out: oats!
And as a true chocolate lover, I just had to add the stuff into this recipe somewhere. I opted for dipping the cookies in chocolate, which I think makes them all the more beautiful.
This recipe uses a food processor to make quick and easy work of assembling the dough. If you don’t have a food processor, use quick oats, which are finer in texture, and make the dough with an electric mixer instead.
For a fun flavor twist, add 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest in with the dough ingredients for chocolate-orange goodness!
sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
(150 grams) light brown sugar
(100 grams) oats, old fashioned or quick cooking
(191 grams) all purpose flour
(113 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang.
Place all ingredients except the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor and process until a smooth, soft, and slightly sticky dough forms.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until very lightly golden brown and set. Let cool completely. Remove the sheet of shortbread from the pan and cut into squares with a big sharp knife. Cut each square into two triangles.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate for 45 seconds. Stir, and continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the chocolate is smooth.
Dip each cookie in chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and allow the chocolate to set before serving or storing.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.