Parmesan Thyme Shortbread

After all the sweets at Christmas some salty shortbread is a great way to ease the sugar rush. The thyme accentuates the flavor of the Parmesan and makes for a bright cookie that would easily pair with a sparkling wine (or Sparkling grape juice!) for New Years. 

I promised you when I went to the  Metropolitan Cooking & Entertainment Show that I was going to try my hand at making the Parmesan thyme, cheddar (and rosemary) and white chocolate salted oatmeal cookies I tried from Cookie Zen.....and I came through! I've already made the sharp cheddar Scottish shortbread and the  white chocolate salted oatmeal cookies so it was time to round out the batch! The Scottish shortbread should go well with red wines, and the oatmeal would be similar to these lovely little Parmesan ditties and go well with the sparkling wines (and juices). Wondering about all the (things in parentheses?). I don't drink. I'm dry tipsy. The alcohol in cough syrup is enough to make me dance on a table! Okay, so that's an exaggeration, but I trust these wine suggestions from Cookie Zen. 

I have recipes for plenty of the cookie pairings they recommend, so for New Years why not whip up batches of these cookies to pair with the wine you'll be drinking at your parties? Fun and inventive, I'm sure your guests will enjoy it. And the kids can join in too with their sparkling juices (like me)! 

Cherry Tea Cakes Pairing Guide: 

Sparkling Wine/Sparkling White Grape or Peach: Parmesan Thyme Shortbread (recipe below), white chocolate salted oatmeal cookies and lemon basil shortbread

White Wine/ Sparkling White Grape or Pear:  gingersnaps, lemon coconut sables, and macarons

It's a really fun idea, for New Years or book club parties! I hope you enjoy it and these cookies! 

Parmesan Thyme Shortbread

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
1 cup flour
1 tsp. thyme 

Using electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter, salt, and black pepper at medium speed just until blended. Add Parmesan and flour and mix at low speed just until mixed thoroughly. Use your hands to gather the dough into a ball and then press into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2-inch-thick round. Sprinkle thyme over top and proceed to roll dough to 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into one inch squares and place one and a half inches apart on the lined cookie sheets.

Bake until lightly golden and beginning to brown on edges, about 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on sheets.