Flowers & Berries Shortbread Pan

Crafted in Virginia by Brown Bag Designs, with designer Lucy as the heart and soul of the company, this design idea began in 1982, when Lucy was celebrating the Chinese New Year in Boston. In many of the Chinatown shop windows, she noticed an old technique of making large, intricately detailed cookies.

Lucy later realized that carved cookie molds, such as the ones she saw used, were a part of much of European and Australian history too, and were likely brought to America in the late 18th century.

By the 20th century, the craftsmanship of hand carved molds had mostly been lost. Lucy was now committed to bringing the age-old tradition back to life. In 1983, the first cookie molds, cookie stamps and shortbread molds were created by hand in the small New England town of Hill, New Hampshire.

The name "Brown Bag" is derived from the idea that great things can come from the simplest things in every day life, like a brown bag lunch. Lucy's vision is to have cookie making be about having fun and sharing time with friends and family. At Sturbridge, we have shortbread pans from Brown Bag Designs that are featured on this page. We'll also take a brief look at the history of this versatile dessert.

Flowers & Berries Shortbread Pan Meadow Flowers Shortbread Pan

The Way The Cookie Crumbles

Shortbread is traditionally a Scottish dessert, but has taken a few different forms throughout history. During Medieval times, shortbread was simple dried bread to which sugar added when hardened. It became widely popular among individuals who could afford luxury. Mary, Queen of Scots, saw to it that she made her mark on the recipe too. What was later named "petticoat tails" was her idea of cutting the shortbread into wedges and flavoring them with caraway seeds. For many centuries, it was a dessert reserved for special occasions and the wealthy. In Shetland, an island of Scotland, shortbread is broken over the heads of newlyweds as they enter their new home. 

How Is Shortbread Made?

Some call it a biscuit, some call it a cake — but most refer to it as a type of cookie. Actually, the modern recipe hasn't veered too far from its original form. The basic ingredients are 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar.

Shortbread should be baked on a level surface to ensure it is cooked perfectly. Shortbread pans from Brown Bag Designs provide this perfect surface and yield excellent results.

Reindeer Shortbread Pan

Irish Lace Shortbread Pan

Quality Craftmanship For Every Season

At Brown Bag Designs, all cookie molds and pans start with a hand drawing that is then molded into clay. Next, they are made into plaster molds and checked for accuracy. 

A fourth step involves yet another casting mold, where they go into what is called a "ram press" to press the molds. Or, the designs are hand cast with hot liquid poured into each mold, one at a time, followed by baking time in a kiln.

Adapting to the Needs of the Cookies

Over the years, Brown Bag Designs has experimented with creating molds by hand or using the press. During the end of the last century, however, the company decided that using the press was its preferred method.

In 2002, for their cookie molds at least, the company went back to creating and pouring the molds by hand. The details in the shortbread pans are done by the press because it allows for accurate and even baking throughout.

Americana Shortbread Pan

Your guests (or the recipients of your shortbread cookie platter) will be impressed and delighted by the elaborate designs of these cookies. All of these shortbread pans are tough enough to withstand years of  use and are non-absorbent; there will not be any oil residue or discoloration. All pans are ceramic, have easy-to-use handles and are proudly made in the USA. To clean, scrub with hot and soapy water. They are also dishwasher safe. Our shortbread pans from Brown Bag Designs are perfect in your kitchen and will make a thoughtful gift for any baker in your life.