Friday, December 12, 2014

You know, Santa loves savoury too.

A version of this recipe has been circulating within my writer’s group over the years and it is what everyone reaches for when they have a glass of red wine in their other hand.  I think we just call them “Barb’s cheese things” or “those cheddar crisps.” But in The Daily Cookie by Anna Ginsberg, they are listed under January 20 as Cheddar Cheese Cookies. (Of course I peeked at my birth date, and I got Chocolate Ninjabread

When everybody else is making Christmas sweets, serve these with your apéritifs and trust that they will go as quick as reindeer.

Cheddar Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 cups freshly grated, good-quality sharp Cheddar (please don't use pre-grated cheese for anything)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups organic all purpose flour
1 cup crispy rice cereal (I use President's Choice brand)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Smoked paprika, for dusting

Things needed: mini ice-cream scooper (will yield exactly 48 cookies), two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and a mixer.

Preheat oven at 350°F.

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In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy, then add grated cheese and blend until mixture turns orange. Add salt, cayenne and garlic powder and blend until incorporated. Add flour and cereal and mix.

With your mini- ball scooper, shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

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With a fork, gently make a crisscross pattern on each ball while flattening slightly. Place a not too small pecan piece in the center of each cookie.

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Bake one sheet at a time for 5 minutes, rotate the sheet, then bake for another 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Lightly sprinkle cookies with paprika. Enjoy with some excellent wine.

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Minimally changed from The Daily Cookie by Anna Ginsberg
(Just in case you were wondering, The Daily Cookie lists Almond Ginger Toasts for December 25. These look like thinly sliced but round biscotti, and look very delicate and scrumptious!)
Merry Merry! XO
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