The sharp cheddar crisped inside and out of this Scottish shortbread is addictive. These savory cookies are hard to put down.
Did I say they were hard to put down? Apparently they are also hard to keep your hands on! Butchie picked out an "ugly" cookie for us to split. I turned my back and she ate my half! So she picked out another less-than-ideal cookie for me to try. She. Ate. It. Too. [I apologize for nothing. Move faster next time. --B.]
Needless to say SHE loved these cookies right off the bat. Took me a few hours to actually get to eat one for myself! Not fair!....okay, so I was horribly busy. These little ditties are just one of the many treats we put together for joint efforts at holiday treat boxes for our friends. Butch made a few things, I made a few things, and then we spent a whole night making cookies together. By the end of the night we had twenty different "combo packs" of two very different varieties, hurting feet and bags under our eyes. It was a LONG night. [So long I needed to eat extra cookies for fuel. Lots of extra cookies. --B.]
I've hardly finished eating the last of the cookies and I already and plotting my next batch. Butchie may not be invited, but only so I can get a few to eat as well!
If somehow this post makes it up without her additions (sad! they are so funny!) it is because she is out West for her father's retirement from the Air Force. [24 years as an F-15 pilot, with more time spent in the cockpit of that plane than anyone on active duty as of today. Why yes, my dad IS a rock star. Oh hey, I made it to the post in time! --B.] He's getting a nice big ceremony that she wouldn't miss for the world. [Lucky you, I managed both :) Anyway, these cookies are delicious, even if they're more like a cheese cracker than a "cookie," exactly. Enjoy! And many congratulations to my dad, who might just end up lucky enough to have a batch of these made for him while I'm home. --B.]
Sharp Cheddar Scottish Shortbread
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
8 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Using electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter, salt, black pepper, and cayenne at medium speed just until blended. Add Cheddar and flour and mix at low speed just until smooth. Press dough into 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 1/4-inch-thick round. Using 1 1/2 round cutter, cut out rounds and arrange 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets.
Bake until lightly golden and beginning to brown on edges, about 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on sheets.