Recipe: Fury Road Branded Shortbread Cookies

Mad Max: Fury Road is coming out on blu-ray and dvd in less than a month, and I am very excited.  I saw the movie 3 times while it was in theaters, something I hardly ever do anymore, but the stunt work alone was worth the cost of admission.  Beyond the spectacle, though, is a surprising amount of substance.  A simple story is the backdrop for complex themes and detailed world-building.  It is that all-too-rare thing: the thinking-person's blockbuster.

Also, there's a guy on top of a truck, suspended on wires, with a flame-throwing guitar.

As always happens with the things I love, I wanted to figure out a way to celebrate it with food. Not exactly easy when your inspiration is a movie set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Maybe I could do something with the Wilton Silver Color Mist whose Amazon page was taken over by Warboys after the film, but technically, the only food consumed in the movie is a 2-headed lizard that Max munches on in the first few seconds. While I briefly toyed with the idea of creating a 2-headed marshmallow lizard (and still might, never say never), I wanted something a little easier to make.

Enter Immortan Joe.  Immortan Joe is an instantly iconic villain.  He looks like if Darth Vader were in an 80's metal hair band.  He's gross, terrifying and kind of funny.   At the beginning of the film, Max is captured by Immortan Joe's Warboys.  They shave him, tattoo him, but before they can brand him with Immortan Joe's logo, he makes a break for it.  Later, we see the same brand on our heroine, Imperator Furiosa.  It looks like a flaming steering wheel around a skull, and I can't think of a more perfect logo for the movie as a whole.

When stenciling cookies, you've got a few options.  You can make a darker cookie, like chocolate, and stencil in powdered sugar or royal icing after it's baked.  But I wanted something that would look more like the brand we see in the film.  So instead, I made a simple shortbread cookie and stenciled the dough with cocoa powder and a big fluffy brush.  You can find brushes for pastry and confection use at your local craft store.  And check out this post for a how to on making your own stencils.

Fury Road Shortbread Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.  Mix in vanilla extract until incorporated.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Add to the butter mixture slowly, stirring just until the dough comes together.  

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/3" thickness.  Cut into 3"-4" rounds, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  To create the design, lay your stencil on top of each cookie dough round.  Dip the brush into some cocoa powder, then tap on a plate or bowl to get rid of any excess.  Brush lightly with an up and down motion, repeating until you have the desired color.

Carefully lift up your stencil and tap on the plate or bowl to remove leftover cocoa powder.  Once every cookie is stenciled, chill the cookies in the fridge for about half an hour while you preheat the oven to 350°F.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges just start to turn golden brown.