Spicy Cheddar Shortbread

By Mark Bittman
June 19, 2013
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Author Notes: No junk food snack comes close to these easy savory cookies, a perfect finger food.Mark Bittman

Makes: 30 to 40 cookies

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the stick of butter into chunks. Grease a baking sheet with more butter. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times; as soon as the mixture resembles coarse meal, stop. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic, wrap it, and press it gently into a ball. Refrigerate the dough for at least 20 minutes or up to several hours.
  2. Pinch off heaping tablespoon?sized pieces of the dough and roll them into 1?inch balls with your hands. Put the balls on the prepared pan, leaving 2 inches between them. Press down on each ball with your fingers to flatten it to ¾ inch thick. If there is dough left over when the sheet is filled, wait and cook a second batch.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the shortbreads are puffed and golden brown. When they're cool enough to handle, transfer them to a wire rack and bake the remaining dough. Serve right away or store covered at room temperature for up to 1 day.

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