Tuesday 6 December 2011

Shortbread Cheesies

I messed up today.  I was baking thumbprint cookies with the intention of blogging about them this evening and, because I needed some cookies to share with a friend, I decided to double the batch.  I carefully made my mise en place, took my photos, and formed the cookies.  Then I put them in the oven to bake and something very odd happened.  My cookies spread out 'way more than they should have, and they got very thin.  They took longer to cook than they should have too.

It was only after I took the first pan of cookies out of the oven and reviewed all the recipe steps in my mind that I realized I'd doubled everything in the recipe except the flour.  Duh!

My husband says he likes the cookies.  They're chewy, with crispy bits around the edges.  I'm glad he'll eat them 'cause I'd hate to have to throw them away.

What I am going to have to do is remake the recipe and retake the photos before I can post them on my blog.  That leaves me without anything to new to post tonight so I'm posting photos and a recipe that I published on Facebook last December.  The recipe's great. The photos not so much.  Please do check them out though because these savoury treats are worth making.

My friend Anna Genoe gave me this recipe about 15 years ago.  She served these cheddar-y shortbreads to us one evening and I liked them so much that I asked her to teach me to make them.  They take a little more time and effort than a regular sweet shortbread but the results are stellar.

To make Shortbread Cheesies you'll need:
  • 1/2 pound of butter, softened
  • 12 ounces of sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

Cream the butter, add the cheese, and then cream them again.

Add the flour and the Worcestershire sauce and mix them into the butter.  This will yield a crumbly dough.

Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least a couple of hours, then turn it out onto a board and knead it until it holds together.

Divide the dough in four and roll each piece of dough into a cylinder.  Since the dough always squishes down and makes one side sort of flat when you slice it, I usually form the cylinders into rectangles by pressing them against the counter to make four flat sides.  The rectangles maintain a more consistent shape.

Wrap the cylinders or rectangles in plastic wrap and refrigerate them again, for at least an hour or two.

When you're ready to bake, slice the dough into quarter inch thick cookies.

Place the cookies about an inch apart on cookie sheets.  Bake them at 325ºF until they're golden on the bottom and have taken on some colour around the edges.

Cool the cookies on brown paper and then store them in an airtight container.  

Cranberry Claret jelly, red wine jelly, or pepper jelly make excellent accompaniments to Shortbread Cheesies.  The cookies are best when served slightly warm, so pop them in the oven for a few minutes just before offering them to your guests.

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