Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cheddar Chive Shortbread #CreativeCookieExchange

Cheddar chive shortbread is buttery, savory and crisp when first out of the oven, the perfect accompaniment to your afternoon tea or evening cocktail time. 

Shortbread is a traditionally sweet treat but since the main ingredients are flour and butter, I figure there’s no good reason it can’t be savory as well. This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange theme is cheese so I thought it was a great time to test my theory. I am pleased to report that while it feels funny calling these cookies, shortbread is definitely considered a cookie, so here we are. And they are delicious! They are rich and buttery, with a lovely hint of heat from the black pepper and cayenne. They can stand up to a strong drink as well a good cup of tea.

1/2 cup or 113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 oz or 225g extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons finely minced chives or green onion tops
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinches paprika to decorate, optional

In your electric mixer, beat together your butter, salt, black pepper and cayenne until you have a smooth paste.

Add in the cheese, flour and chives and mix at low speed until they form a soft dough.

Shape the dough into roll, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and chill 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and line your baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Unwrap the roll and slice the shortbread into circles about 1/4 in or 1/2cm thick. Place on your prepared baking sheets leaving space around for them to spread. I put mine a bit close together thinking I might fit them all on one pan and ended up needing a second pan for the balance of six cookies. Learn from my errors and just space them more evenly on two pans to start with.

Sprinkle on a little paprika to decorate, if desired. You can use cayenne or black pepper instead but I was afraid mine might be too spicy for my taste testers.

Bake the shortbread until lightly golden and beginning to brown on edges, about 10-12 mins.

I decided that I didn’t like the rough edges for a civilized teatime treat with Manzanilla sherry so I cut them out with a glass to even the edges. This is a totally unnecessarily step, but they do look nicer, don’t they? And we loved the little toasted crumbs that were left behind.


Check out all the other lovely cheesy cookies my Creative Cookie Exchange friends have made. Many thanks to Renee of Magnolia Days for doing all the behind the scenes work this month!

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life). We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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