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.
Savory Cheddar And Rosemary 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.
This sounds wonderful! I love rosemary, I am going to need to try these!
Thank you Marye! They were delicious!
Pirate Nell says
I made these about a month ago, and can’t get them out of my mind. My DH is wistfully asking for them, too! I’m going to make again today, this time with a Grana Padana and rosemary (since that’s the cheese I’ve got!). These are exceptional. Saved; memorized the recipe!
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your tips…any cheese would be great in this!
Pam Wadsworth says
I used a truffle white cheddar and Parmesan… can’t wait to taste them!
oh, do let me know how they turn out!
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass says
Love what you did here Cynthia. The cheese sounds divine as do these savory shortbread cookies with rosemary. I have a friend who makes delicious cheese straws during the holidays. I’ve never made them myself but yours look so tempting. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that your New Year ahead is filled with peace, joy and health! xo
Christina at Christina's Cucina says
What a great idea! I love the Kerrygold cheeses, and of course, using good quality ingredients only makes the final product even better! Lovely, Cynthia!
Thanks Christina! You’re right, a cheap cheese would not have the same results!
Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
These sound and look amazing! I love this as a savory shortbread (and I love rosemary). Also, your cookie cutter is adorable!
Thank you Patricia!
Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
Oh, Cynthia! These would be a favorite for me! Love the added rosemary to these goodies. And I LOVE your cookie cutter 😉
Thank you Patricia!
Lauren Kelly Nutrition says
I love these flavors!
Super delicious! Thanks so much for sharing.
Michelle Wainer says
Just made these cookies! So fun and smell so good, waiting to try. Do I need to refrigerate the cookies I store?
I never have…but they don’t last much longer than a few days!
Michelle Wainer says
Just tried the cookies! OMG! So good. Used the Dubliner cheese!!
awesome! You can experiment with different cheeses too!
Hi Joan, I’m sorry you had a disappointing experience. Did you read my notes? I’m not sure what went wrong, but it could have been a number of things. I did mention that a aged cheese is drier and will react differently than a fresher cheese. “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.” I love for you to help me figure out what went wrong. Did you use a dry aged cheddar? Did you chill the dough? Again, I apologize for your frustration. Thank you, Cynthia
Judyin WA says
This looks wonderful. I love shortbread. I went looking for a savory recipe, as I find I can no longer eat sugar baked with flour. Commercial crackers are full of sugar, it turns out!. Anyway. I am going to make this. I am too lazy and no longer have the kitchen space (small studio apartment with two burner stove, mini-micro and table top oven only) to do much fancy baking. I think this can be rolled into a log, much like refrigerator cookies. Wrapped in parchment and then in a plastic zipper bag. Slice off a few at a time and bake as wanted… I can think of several flavor combinations that would be wonderful. Thanks so much for the basic recipe..Have a great holiday season.
I love the idea of “slice and bake”! That would be a great hostess gift too! Glad you like them.
It’s my annual cheddar shortbread baking day and the house smells amazing! One of my all-time favorite recipes. I actually made the dough last week (double batch) and froze it in two separate balls. Using one today and will have the other for Christmas Eve. Not a huge rosemary fan so I use fresh thyme instead. So good!
Thank you so much! My daughter just brought her school’s famous “Cougar Gold” cheddar and I’ll be making a batch with it next week.