Friday, February 10, 2012

Dried cranberry shortbread + Tilda

Dried cranberry shortbread / Amanteigados com cranberries secas

There are things one just knows without the need of much explanation – one just feels it. I haven’t, to this day, watched “The King’s Speech” but I know, deep down in my heart, that its winning of the Best Picture Award last year was so, so wrong. And I know that because I’ve seen five of the movies that were nominated with it – if the world were a fair place that would never have happened. And don’t even get me started on Tom Hooper winning for best director – that was heresy.

I watched “We Need to Talk About Kevin” last night and I left the theater with a mix of emotions that is hard to describe. If it was up to me this year’s best actress in a leading role award would go to Tilda and I don’t need to watch the other performances to know that – I just feel deep down in my heart that no one could beat Tilda this year, despite my love for Close and Streep; it’s humanly impossible.


If the movie had this effect on me it must be devastating for parents. I can’t imagine what it feels like for a mother, or for anyone for that matter, to watch a psychopath in the making – all those signs, no matter what anyone does or says. It seems that it cannot be stopped. Kevin’s eyes –throughout all the different ages – creeped me out. A human being without feelings, someone who is capable of being so mean. During those two hours I caught myself holding my breath dozens of times; all that noise, all that red – it makes you uncomfortable, suffocated. You feel the mother’s desperation and fear, the father being such an idiot makes you angry. The minute I saw the little girl with a patch over her eye I knew her brother had had something to do with it – the more you see of him the more evil you expect. As the film goes one, in a non-linear way, Eva’s feelings – of course her name would have to be Eva – became my feelings, all the guilt she carries with her. The brief dialogue and the hug in the final scene felt like a punch in the stomach. I don’t like to play the gender card but in this case I strongly believe that being directed by a woman made this movie what it is – looking forward to seeing more of Lynne Ramsay’s work; to me, she deserved the nomination more than Alexander Payne or Woody Allen this year.

Out of eggs after baking two cakes I still wanted to bake cookies; therefore, shortbread seemed the perfect choice. Martha’s book on cookies had just what I needed: an easy recipe that turned out delicious.

Dried cranberry shortbread
adapted from the absolutely delicious Martha Stewart's Cookies

1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (105g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (55g) dried cranberries, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F*. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Combine butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer, in low speed, just until combined. Stir in dried cranberries. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll out dough between two sheets of lightly floured baking paper until 3mm thick. Use a 4cm (1½in) cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Use a paring knife to trim stray bits of cranberry from edges – if the dough gets too soft, place it in the freezer for 5 minutes. Place cookies onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart, and bake until lightly golden on the edges, about 20 minutes.
Cool completely on the sheets over a wire rack.
Cookies will keep for 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

* I baked my cookies at 180°C/350°F for 15 minutes

Makes about 60 cookies


Anonymous said...


I saw the movie too and feels the same as you that Tilda's performance will win her this year's award. She is very good.

I also feel that in the movie... the parents could have stopped the way the son was behaving. Both parents are very soft as well as the father didn't give the mum full support.

The parents allow the son to get away with things and allow him since very young. No discipline and no reprimanding.

Sad to say... I see alot of parents do that with their children. A couple of my friends are that way... spare the rod and spoil the child. I'm not surprised if their children do turned out as Kevin in future !

I read many years back in Japan... a father actually killed his own son because his son could not be controlled and was a nuisance to society. Like Kevin... he was also a threat to society. His father knew that and one night took a baseball bat and killed him. To the father, he felt that he would rather be responsible than to have the society suffer as a result.

Anonymous said...

you can't dip your cookies in the milk using that container

pam said...

I've got to see this movie!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I made a variation of shortbread today using Martha's recipe as well! Beautiful!

slightlyawkward said...

The King's Speech was amazing. It made me start sobbing. And I usually don't cry during movies!

Mutfak Havlusu said...

when i was in london i've eaten this is such cookies
while i m looking this cookie i remembered
i tried them if you want you can look

thank you this recipe

anilou said...

I make a similar shortbread biscuit at Christmas time, with the addition of white chocolate chunks. I always read your blog but don't comment often. So thankyou for your wonderful recipes and photography. I don't know if I'm ready to see the movie though!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, Anilou, nice to meet you! :D
I love white chocolate and dried cranberries together!
Thank you for your kind words!

Marta Brysha said...

If you loved the movie you must read the book. The movie was surprisingly good, I thought, however, the book is so much more intense.

Love your blog and am looking forward to making some of your recipes.

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