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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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.