Saturday, January 18, 2014

Weekend Cooking: Cheese Shortbread

Here’s a simple, savory nibble. I made these for my book club’s annual tea, and they were a big hit. These are so much easier than gougéres, but hit that same cheesy note that goes perfectly with a glass of wine or Champagne. Even my 13-year-old fell in love with them, and asked me to put the last few in her lunch the next day.

Cheese Shortbread

(adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman)

8 T cold butter
2 c grated Cheddar or other semi-hard cheese
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ t salt
½ t cayenne pepper
1 t Hungarian paprika
1 T dried dill

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal -- do not overprocess.

Form the dough into 1 inch balls (or you can wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until ready to bake). Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and puffy. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container.

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  1. I don't own a food processor... maybe that should be the next 'gadget' on my list! These look good, and a vote of confidence from a 13-year old is no small thing. *grin*

    p.s. I also need to get myself a copy of HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING (as well as the vegetarian version). My gourmet uncles were horrified that I didn't own a copy!

  2. I use the food processor quite a bit, but you could easily make these with a pastry blender, I think. One thing I love the food processor for is shredding -- it does a pound of cheese in seconds, so you don't have to buy the pre-shredded bags or scrape your knuckles.

    I'm going to recommend both of the Bittman books -- perfect to have around for weeknights, and for inspiration about what to do with whatever veggies you have on hand.

  3. Wow -- that looks yummy and easy. Never heard of cheese shortbread before. Must give these a try. :)

  4. I agree about the Bittman books -- can't go wrong. And these look like the perfect little nibbles for a book club or evening on the deck.

  5. I love sweet shortbread, I certainly don't have any problem with a cheesy version, LOL!

  6. Well I don't blame your 13 year old, all good ingredients! I want to try these, they would be great for my afternoon coffee.
    Thanks for your nice comment at site!

  7. A savory shortbread -- I never thought of that, but it sounds really good.

  8. Except for the egg, those are very similar to cheese straws, which are a staple in the South.

  9. Those look delicious! Might work well for a party I'll be going to.

  10. Yum!! Will you put them in my lunch for tomorrow? :)

    (Thank you for your so kind words on my post a few days ago. xo)


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