Spicy Cheddar Shortbread

By Mark Bittman
June 19, 2013
8 Comments


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

Makes: 30 to 40 cookies

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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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Reviews (8) Questions (0)

8 Comments

kwolffman December 30, 2017
Finally got around to making these. They are delicious but are even better with two tweaks: 1. Make the balls smaller than 1 inch. 1/2 to 3/4 inch is good. 2. Press them into flat discs, not 3/4 inch high cookies. The end result will be crisper and more like a cheese straw but still maintaining some of the shortbread cookie texture. As originally written, the recipe yields cookies that are too doughy for my taste.
 
Sandi December 19, 2015
Whoops! What do you do if you don't have a food processor? Someone please advise!
 
Sandi December 19, 2015
Oh Heck! What do you do if you don't have a
 
Becos July 7, 2013
These were simple and absolutely perfect!
 
albascott July 1, 2013
Delicious! A little too much of cayenne pepper for my taste, but so good....
 
jenniebites July 1, 2013
My Grandma makes these, but with Rice Krispie treats mixed in for crunch. And when I lived in Maryland I added Old Bay instead of cayenne.
 
JanetFL June 29, 2013
Can a portion of this dough be frozen for later use?
 
Freddie June 29, 2013
1. Pre-heating the oven should be at the beginning of step 2 (why put it in step 1 if you're going to wait 20 minutes to several hours for the dough to firm up?)<br />2. A quantity of 30-40 cookies that must be eaten within a day? This is obviously a party food, not a simple snack, as suggested in the Author's Notes.