This giant, dinner plate-sized, buttery shortbread cookie is traditionally served in western France around the city of Poitiers during celebrations and holidays. Over the centuries, the bakers of Poitiers have mastered shortbread that crumbles and crunches with a rich, sweet, buttery flavor. The shortbread is accented with a sprinkling of toasty slivered almonds on top.
The sturdy texture is key to the theater of serving this sweet. Set it in the middle of the table and give it a punch. Seriously. Or if that's not enough of a holiday stress relief valve, do like they do around Poitiers, grab your favorite hammer, and give the cookie a good thwack. I know how that sounds, but I promise I'm not making it up. Sometimes (though not in this case!) these cookies are even sold alongside wooden mallets, ready for action.
The perfectly positioned strike serves a purpose: it breaks the dessert into a variety of pieces, allowing revelers and snackers alike to pick the size that suits them. Each cookie is big enough to serve 6-8 nibblers, or to keep one cookie monster snacking for days. Serve with coffee and tea for a sweet after dinner treat, whether or not you've got guests over.
Each giant shortbread cookie comes packed in a decorated round wooden box, making for an impressive gift with no additional wrapping required.