Savory shortbread, savory cookies?

The idea of savory cookies is one that I can’t quite wrap around my palate.  Savory shortbread?  Even more off-putting!

The first time I ever tried a “savory cookie” (rosemary shortbread with Gorgonzola) it blew my mind and my taste buds!  It wasn’t at all what I expected and I certainly was not looking forward to trying it, seeing as I don’t like the sweet variety.  The second time I had a savory cookie (bleu cheese and sage shortbread with goat cheese and cranberries), I didn’t like it.  It’s always nice when your first experience with a new food is a good one because then it’s worth repeating.

It’s time to make my own savory cookie/shortbread!  I found a recipe on Epicurious.com that looked promising.  I almost never follow a recipe to the letter but since I was venturing into new territory, I decided not to be too creative.  The shortbread turned out very nicely indeed, with fresh rosemary from the garden!  These would be great served as part of a savories course for afternoon tea.

Parmesan, Rosemary, and Walnut Shortbread
(from Epicurious.com)

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted at 350°F for 10 minutes, then chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter; add the Parmesan, and mix well. Stir in the flour, rosemary, walnuts, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Form the mixture into 1-inch-wide logs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least half an hour, or up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to bake the shortbread, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut the logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices, place the slices on the baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden at the edges. Remove the shortbread slices and cool them on a wire rack. You can offer these by themselves passed in a basket, or top them with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto.

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“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”

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