Showing posts with label savory Cheddar shortbread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label savory Cheddar shortbread. Show all posts

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Savory Cheddar shortbread


 From the festive files of Victoria Abbott

You never know when someone will show up at your door for a visit during this festive season. No matter what’s going on, you want to be prepared to offer your visitors—expected or surprise—a little something that allows you to sit and relax with your guests.

Savory cheese shortbread are easy and delicious and ready to go. I am afraid that we are quite addicted to them and polished off the first batch so fast that another had to be made to allow for photos and, of course, visitors.

As it’s confession time, quite a few of the second batch vanished too. Perhaps we need a sign in the kitchen: photos first, then samplings.

Here’s the recipe.
1 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne
½ cup butter, cut into cubes
2 cups grated old cheddar cheese (we use Balderson extra-old or two-year old white cheddar –it’s a very tasty and award-winning local cheese – but any good quality sharp cheddar will do)
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp dry thyme
1 egg or 1 egg white
Chopped pecans or walnuts for topping (optional – but very good)
After cooking toppings: Fig jam, red pepper jelly, pink Himalayan salt – or let your imagination run wild

Preheat your oven to 375.
Add flour, dry mustard, salt, cayenne and thyme in the bowl of a food processor.

Add cubed butter, grated Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and pulse until the dough comes together – just enough to form in a ball.  If you under pulse, you’ll be left with a crumbly mess. Overdo it and your dough will be tough.

On a floured board or granite surface, form a ball. Divide it into four pieces and work one at a time.

Roll out dough to ¼ in thickness. Use cookie cutters (we like stars and moons for these, but hearts around Valentine’s Day) to cut shapes. You may have to keep reforming the dough, but that’s okay.

Transfer the shortbreads to a baking sheet (don’t grease it).

Beat the egg (or just the egg white) in a bowl and brush glaze on cookies. You can add nuts at this point or grate on some of the Himalayan salt.  You’ll think of some other toppings!
Bake for about 8 minutes, until they start to color.

You can also cook these at 300 degrees for about 18 minutes.  Suit yourselves - esp if you have a temperature you like for shortbread.

Cool on a rack. Store in a cookie tin until you are ready to serve them. Don't put the toppings until you are about to put them on a plate. 

These are best at room temperature. Top with a teaspoon of fig jam or red pepper jelly just before serving.

Pour your guest a glass of red wine and one for yourself and enjoy.

Here's a little bit more about Victoria Abbott, author of the book collector mysteries. 

Victoria is an artist and photographer and MJ is the author of 13 books in three other series, as Mary Jane Maffini. They love their book collector mysteries and are happily at work on The Wolfe Widow, third in the series.   They're very excited about the The Sayers Swindle which just launched and they're feeling festive as it made #10 on the Barnes and Noble mass market mystery list this week. Whee! Let's have a Cheddar shortbread to celebrate all that.

The Sayers Swindle, the second in the book collector mysteries hit the shelves and e-readers on December 3!

You can click here to order The Sayers Swindle!

Or here for the Kindle version!

Or order through your favorite bookstore - in person or online.

And don't forget to ....

Watch the trailer for The Sayers Swindle!


The Christie Curse, the first book collector mystery, launched in March 2013 to great reviews.

The Christie Curse is also available in Large Print! Tell your local librarian!

 Walter, the pug in the series is a dead ringer for Peachy, Victoria's new best friend. 

 Come over and friend Victoria on Facebook

Tell  her  you love the pug!