Friday, October 28, 2011

Scottish Sharp Cheddar Shortbread

I thought it would be nice for a change to make a savory "cookie" as a Halloween treat. Something to help bring the kids down when they're running around in circles, begging for just one more candy corn. These are really tasty and obviously very cheddary - like cheez-its, only better. It's probably the love (who knows what those cheez-it factory workers are thinking while the machines crank out more crackers - I've never felt all that loved when I ate one).

Makes about 30 savory cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
8 oz. extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1.      Using electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat together butter, salt, black pepper, and cayenne at low speed just until blended. Add cheddar and flour and mix at low speed just until smooth (do not overmix). Shape dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
2.      Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350° F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
3.      On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch-thick round. Using 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds and arrange 1-inch apart on baking sheets. Reroll scraps if desired (rerolled scraps will be tougher).
4.      Bake shortbread until lightly golden and beginning to brown on edges, about 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

from Epicurious, December 2006 by Tracey Seaman
butter, salt, pepper and cayenne
adding flour and cheese

I realized about halfway through grating the cheese that
I should have been grating it finely, so half my cheese was
more coarsely grated. I'm thinking the shortbread probably
would have looked less lumpy, but I don't think the taste suffered.
(This is a double batch.)
dough mixed
dough disk
dough rolled; cutting into shapes
raw dough on sheet pan

They do puff a little and lose some of their definition (then
again, they're not meant to be jack-o-lanterns and ghosts). I still
think they look cute. Definitely good enough for first graders.
pumpkin up close
spider web up close



Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

I have to say a big thank you for this recipe. Finding crackers that Andy will eat has been a huge challenge since he was diagnosed with a wheat allergy. He sniffs all the one's that I buy and says he doesn't like them. The really unfortunate part is that crackers were a serious staple of his diet. (crackers/bread; dairy; fruit) He ate them daily and his favorites were cheese crackers.

I made a half batch of these this morning as a test. Andy (and the rest of us) devoured them. Adam's going to go out in about an hour to buy me more cheese and butter! I plan on making a huge batch and freezing the cut dough so I can bake them up regularly without having to mix and rest the dough in the moment.

Oh, just to clarify, I swapped out the AP flour for Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Mix and added the recommended amount of xanthan gum. Wheat free cheese crackers the 3 year old will eat! I'm indebted to you.

Susan said...

That's fantastic! I'm so glad I could help in any little way. :)

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