I think you all may have already noticed that I really like baking. I do. I used to be a Daring Baker, for crying out loud. But I had never baked savory cookies before.
I tagged this recipe after seeing it on L.’s blog, Bake or Shake. Her cookies looked delicious and one just can’t go wrong with cheese and herbs. Oh, and butter. That’s just impossible. :)
I made these to give as a gift and to be honest I almost gave up on sending them – they were so good! They’re a great snack and go perfectly with ice cold beer. Or caipirinha…
Savory herb, black pepper and parmesan shortbread
½ cup (113g/1 stick) salted butter, softened – I used unsalted
¼ (heaping) cup (35g) ground parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon freshly cracked/ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil (or use the dried herb you like the most)
1 ¼ cups (175g) all purpose flour
Line a light-colored baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the butter, salt, parmesan, black pepper and basil until creamy and speckled. Slowly add the flour, and mix until dough holds together when pinched. If dough is still too crumbly, add up to 1 tablespoon of ice water – I didn’t need to. Turn out onto a floured counter top, roll into a ball and then into an elongated log, around 30 to 35cm (12 to 14 in) long, depending on how large you want your crackers. Try to make sure the log is an even length, and wrap in tinfoil or plastic and freeze for at least half an hour, or longer if you don't want to serve them today. If you do, preheat your oven to 175ºC/350ºF.
Remove from the freezer, and slice into rounds: the original recipe (by Ina Garten) yields nearly 36, L. got 24 or so and I got 35. Arrange in rows on the baking sheet, with at least a little space between them - they won't spread like normal cookies or biscuits. Bake for 15-25 minutes, checking after 15, until golden brown around the edges and smelling delicious (so true!! The smell is intoxicating).
Remove and cool completely, or serve slightly warm.