Monday, December 12, 2011

Shortbread, part 2

It's a new day, the sun is shining, and I have a large batch of savoury shortbread cooling in the kitchen.  I tweaked and played with a few recipes that I found, wanting to incorporate certain elements into a cohesive treat.  The result is a flaky cookie, with a nice, savoury edge that will pair well with a glass of wine or cider. There is a little sweetness from the cranberries, and a bit of crunch from the walnuts. I wish I'd added a bit more salt (I've compensated in the recipe), but otherwise I'm pleased with the result.  A little cayenne or thyme or even nutmeg would work in variations, too.  So would very small bits of smoky Speck.

Cheese Walnut Cranberry Shortbread

1 Cup butter, softened
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Kosher salt (careful if you're using a salty cheese)
4 C grated flavourful cheese, at room temperature (I used a blend of old cheddar, Oka and Asiago - this is no time for mozarella and colby)
1/2 C chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 C chopped dried cranberries
2 1/2 C flour
milk, to moisten

Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter, spices and salt.  Add the cheese, walnuts and cranberries and blend well.  Mix in the flour until crumbly.  Add the milk, a teaspoon at a time, until the dough just barely comes together.  I may have used a tablespoon or so.

On a floured board, work with half the dough at a time.  Bring it together with your hands and roll out to 1/4" thickness.  Cut out into desired shapes, place on prepared sheets and bake for 12 minutes, until light brown.  Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 5-6 dozen, depending on size. 

(As always, I'm not a photo-blogger. My cookies did not actually come out this yellow.)

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