Oscars 2016: The Big Shortbread

Posted on 29 February 2016

The Big Short won best adapted screenplay for its crisp dialog and cleverly simple demystification of the financial meltdown of 2008. The Big Shortbread is also crisp and light, with simplicity at its core. And butter, of course. Dressed up with extra-dark chocolate chips or toasted pecans, it’s ready for any red carpet.

This recipephany also has loose ties to the surprise best picture winner, Spotlight, about how the Boston Globe uncovered clergy sexual abuse. I adapted this from Cookies: 20 Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, a Boston Globe publication by Sheryl Julian. Ms. Julian is the source of many of my recipephanies, and I was sorry to see that she recently retired as the newspaper’s food editor.

At this year’s Oscars Gala, The Ravenous food truck pulled up and a slobbering grizzly stuck out his head to take our orders. We sipped on red Martiantinis while savoring Baked Brie Larson and crunching Bridge Mix of Spies. After Tom’s Hardy Mad Max and Cheese, spicy Mark Ruffalo Wings, and Sylvester’s Calzone (with Leonardo DiCapicola and Rooney Maranara dipping sauce), fortunately there was still Room for The Big Shortbread.

The Big Shortbread

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (such as Guittard Extra Dark 63% chocolate chips, or Hershey’s Special Dark) or toasted chopped pecans*
  • Granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a pie pan or plate and a pencil to draw three 6-inch rounds on the papers. Turn the papers over.

2. Beat the butter for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until creamy.

3. Add the flour and salt. Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is smooth. With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips or the toasted pecans.

4. Set 1/3 of the dough in the center of each round. With the heel of your hand, press the dough evenly to fill the circles.

5. Sprinkle the dough generously with granulated sugar. With a large straight-edged knife, cut one of the rounds evenly into quarters. Cut each quarter in half to make 8 triangles. Repeat with the other rounds.

6. Bake the rounds for 25 minutes or until they are pale golden, turning the sheets from back to front halfway through baking.

7. Slide the parchment papers onto wire racks and let the rounds sit for a few minutes to cool. Carefully transfer the papers to a board. Cut the rounds along the same lines you made before baking. Set the triangles on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

*Toast pecans on a baking sheet in a preheated 350° oven for about 5 minutes. Watch to make sure they do not scorch. You can also toast them in a heated frying pan for about 5 minutes, stirring to make sure they do not burn.

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2 responses to Oscars 2016: The Big Shortbread

  • Susannah says:

    What happens if the second knife is just a little bit dirty? Just a wee wee bit?

    • Diane Brody says:

      Haha! I actually used the same knife as I did to make the first cuts, so I should probably take that out. Thanks for bringing this superfluous instruction to my attention. Best, Diane
      P.S. I never thought my food blog would include “wee wee.”

  • Leave a Response

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