The Best Way to Welcome the Royals to New Zealand: Cookies, Of Course

04/09/2014 at 11:20 AM ET


After traveling more than 24 hours from England to New Zealand with a young baby, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did what any smart parents in the same situation would do: scheduled some family chill-out time.

Of course, when you’re royalty gearing up to start a whirlwind three-week goodwill trip, you might be tired, but at least you’ve got good hotel options. The family reportedly caught up on sleep at Wherekauhau Lodge, a gorgeous bayside estate about 90 minutes from the capital city of Wellington.

The resort, whose name is pronounced “Forry-coe-hoe,” is set on 5,000 acres of sheep- and cow-dotted farmland and is known for its luxurious digs and spot-on service. But what got us to stop and pay attention was the fact that every room comes with a cookie jar filled with delicious homemade shortbread that most guests become hooked on by the time they check out.

“It’s this beautiful glass jar and it’s right there when you walk in, there’s just no escaping it,” a rep for the hotel tells PEOPLE. Luckily, you don’t have to fly halfway around the world to taste these morsels: The recipe is simple and made with just five ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Royal Family Trip to New Zealand: Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Wondering what that cute little u-shaped symbol is on the cookies? It’s the oarlock of a boat, and it has historical cred: Back when the estate was a working farm, sheep farmers painted it onto their bales of wool to officially designate them as being from Wherekauhau. (The practice started because farmhands rowed longboats out to the trading ships who anchored in the bay.) Of course, you can either leave your cookies plain or come up with your own way to brand them.

No word on whether Kate and William did a side-by-side taste test with the Royal Anzac biscuit, but one thing we know for sure is that cookies are the cure for almost everything — even transatlantic jet lag.

Wherekauhau Lodge Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies

14 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 300F.

2. Cream butter using a standing or handheld mixer.

3.  Sift in confectioners’ sugar and mix in yolks and vanilla. Sift in flour and mix until it is combined.

4. Using your hands, bring dough together into a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.

5. Roll out dough to a half-inch thickness and cut out cookies using a circular metal cutter.

6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until cookies are firm but not browned.

7. Dust cookies with superfine sugar as soon as they come out of the oven. Cool on a wire rack.

—Lexi Dwyer

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Heide M. on

Will have to try this recipe.

Guest on

I thought it was a face an wondered why… LOL

Anonymous on


Guest on

Whoa. Yolks AND butter! Very rich. Love when shortbreads are cut thick. The taste is exceptional. I’ve always baked them the same way. Never with yolks though. “Shortbreads” mean just that …. short recipe. No eggs are ever used. This must be an exception. I will make a batch for Mother’s Day! Sugared tops are the best. Always!