This post is part of a series, Handmade Holiday Gifts
.I'm done with all of my holiday food gift giving. The verdict is in. These savory aged cheddar shortbreads are the thing that people raved over most. Maybe because something savory is
different but welcome among all of the sweets, or because they are delicious, (because they are really tasty.) Or because it is unexpected to have a savory shortbread. Either way, these are super easy, and very yummy.
.They make a great as a gift with a bottle of wine, or with other sweets. They would be fantastic with some wine jelly. Or serve them as an appetizer on a tray with salami and olives.
I sliced these from a log, but you can make them more festive by rolling them out and cutting them into Christmas shapes. You can also dress them up by brushing on an egg wash before baking and sprinkling them with sesame seeds, or poppy seeds, or some flaky salt.
.This recipe calls for a dry aged cheddar. You can also use Parmesan, or any dry aged cheese.
.Savory Aged Cheddar Shortbread
.adapted from this recipe
.1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
8 oz. aged cheddar (white, and dry) finely shredded (mine is an aged cheddar from Costco)
1 cup flour
pinch of cayenne pepper (or a little more if you like things spicy)
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
.Using an electric mixer beat together butter, salt, black pepper and cayenne until blended. Add cheddar and flour and mix just until incorporated. Don't overmix. Shape dough into two logs, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour, or freeze for a half hour until firm.
.Or if you want to cut them into shapes, at this point form dough into a disc and refrigerate or freeze until firm, then roll out dough, cut into shapes, then continue directions below.
.When dough is firm, preheat oven to 350. Slice dough into thin slices, with a sharp knife, about 1/4 inch, or even thinner. The thinner they are the crispier they will be. If they are on the thick side, they will be more like a traditional shortbread cookie. Bake on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Baking time depends on how thick the slices are, so if they are really thin, check the cookies at 12 or 13 minutes.