Savory rosemary cheddar shortbread is a delicious treat, perfect for snacking on with a cup of tea or coffee. Aged cheddar cheese and a subtle hint of rosemary are combined with buttery, crumbly shortbread.
I received a gift of cheese from Kerrygold for Christmas. I was under no obligation to write about Kerrygold, nor did I receive any compensation for this post. As always, my thoughts as opinions are my own.
I love the simplicity of a shortbread cookie – it’s just butter, flour and sugar. Traditional shortbread doesn’t even have a drop of vanilla in it. Crumbly and buttery – what’s not to love?Just before Christmas, the folks at Kerrygold shipped me a lovely gift box of cheese. We went through one block of the Dubliner Cheddar in one sitting. But to be fair, there were five of us! It’s so delicious, we just couldn’t stop eating it!
This savory rosemary cheddar shortbread recipe will make the Dubliner cheddar cheese the star of the show. I make a lot of shortbread around Christmas to round out cookie baskets, so a savory shortbread made sense. I make it in the same manner as a classic shortbread, minus the sugar. It’s a fantastic addition to any cocktail party. My mom’s cocktail parties in the 60’s and 70’s included delicate cheese straws, and this savory shortbread is very similar.
These savory rosemary cheddar shortbread are a cross between a cracker and cookie.
They are a little crumbly and soft, more like a cookie, but if you make them thinner and bake them longer, they become more crisp like a cracker. I sort of liked them in between. I added just a little rosemary, enough to complement the cheese, but not enough to over-power it. My recipe is a combination of my mom’s cheese straw recipe from the 60s, and one from Bon Appetit, circa 2007. Mom’s recipe contains a pinch of cayenne as well. I choose to make them with a fluted cutter, which was about 2 1/4″ across, so it makes roughly 30 fairly large cookie/crackers. If you make smaller cookie/crackers, you’ll end up with double that amount, or possibly more. You can make them in straw shapes, but the longer and thinner they are, the more fragile they’ll be.
Also, it is best to use a drier cheese, like the Kerrygold aged cheddar. An aged cheese has less moisture, whereas a cheese with more fat and moisture will tend to spread more. Of course, any dry-aged cheese will work well. Chilling the dough before baking it will prevent spreading, too. This savory rosemary shortbread actually develops more flavor after a day or two, making them an excellent make-ahead appetizer.
Store this savory rosemary cheddar shortbread in an air-tight tin for up to a week.
You can also freeze the unbaked shortbread.
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour plus additional for flouring roller
- 1/2 pound aged cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment or silpat baking sheets.
Mix flour, cheese, salt, rosemary and cayenne pepper together in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until dough begins to come together. Finish bringing dough together with hands.
On a lightly floured board, gently roll or press dough out to between 1/8" to 1/4" thick. The thinner the dough, the more quickly it will bake, and the crisper the shortbread will be. Using a cutter, or knife, cut out cookies in desired shape. Re-roll remaining dough. Although the more you work it, the tougher the dough becomes.
Place shortbread on lined cookie sheets and chill 20-30 minutes.
Bake at 325 degrees F. for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly brown around the edges, and depending on how thin or thick you roll the dough out. Cool on wire racks. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
Makes about 30 2 1/2", or 5 dozen 1" rounds.