These savoury delights are the perfect thing for people who don’t have a sweet tooth. Not as crisp as crackers, these spicy cheddar cookies have a nice texture and delicious flavour thanks to both the cheese and cayenne; they make lovely cocktail party nibbles or hostess gifts.
Letting the dough rest for at least 30 minutes after you mix it together is important as it allows the flour to hydrate and lets the flavours blend a little before baking. While a cookie press lets you create fancy shapes, you can also cut the roll of prepared dough into ¼ inch slices instead – they will be just as tasty! Stored in an airtight container for up to a week or freeze for up to three months. The unbaked dough can also be frozen and would make a great gift as well!
4.4 oz sharp (old) Cheddar cheese to yield 1 cup when shredded
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 325F.
With the fine side of a grater (or fine shredding blade of food processor), shred the Cheddar when cold then let it sit to come up to room temperature.
Combine the flour, salt and cayenne; set aside.
With an electric mixer, stand mixer or food processor, beat the butter and cheese together.
Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, blending well after each addition to create a smooth dough.
Turn the dough out onto a clean surface. With your hands, shape it into a roll about 1-1/4 inches in diameter.
Wrap the roll of dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. You can also freeze the dough (double-wrapped) for longer storage and thaw completely before proceeding.
Put the roll of dough in your cookie press and squeeze out shapes onto an ungreased cookie tray, spacing 3/4 inch apart.
Alternatively, lay the roll of dough on its side and slice off 1/4” thick rounds and lay these out on the cookie sheet.
Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to racks to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen savoury cookies