This is one of those recipes I’ve planned on making for a long time. It even made my “official” Thanksgiving menu last year, but didn’t actually get prepared. Then I was planning on making them on time this year and serving them over the Christmas holiday. That didn’t happen either.
But I finally made these, and I’m so (so very) happy that I did. This is a super-easy recipe, and one that I know can be changed up successfully (as I did), so it’s easy and fast. Though I have a couple of tricks that made it a little easier.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled & cut into about 16 pieces
- ¼ lb cheese (comte, gruyere, sharp cheddar), shredded – about 1 c.+
- ¼ t salt
- 1/8 t ground white pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- (or, skip these flavorings and use green chile powder seasonings to replace the other seasonings)
- 1 c + 2 T all-purpose flour
This is a quick recipe to put together. Since I was using my processor for the dough, I grated my cheese first. Then the cheese, butter, spices and flour are combined and processed until it’s clumpy and holds together. Mine took a couple of minutes, but seemed to come together pretty easily. I still have my old (one of the first, I think) Cuisinart. I keep thinking of replacing it, but… not yet!
I ended up trying 2 different methods for chilling the dough. I rolled out half between parchment without chilling, and the other half, put, wrapped, into the refrigerator as the recipe suggests.
I’ve used both types, and I have to say, the pre-rolled/frozen was easier. Mainly because I ended up needing to freeze the other half after it was rolled out anyway so that I could get the cutouts off of the paper preserving the shape.
I decided to do something a little whimsical – I had a cute little acorn cookie cutter that was about the right size. I like doing something different (I’ve been known to make duck or pig or heart biscuits), particularly if I’m not trying to be fancy. So why not? I thought that they were super-cute!
The first batch I made was exactly as related in the recipe – comte, white pepper, cayenne (I still haven’t tracked down that Aleppo pepper). The second, I decided to break out! I had some nice sharp white cheddar, and I thought it would be fun to substitute some green chile for the other types of pepper. This is my favorite. It comes from Comfort Foods and can be ordered online if it’s not locally available (they also have great dip mixes), which is what I do. FYI, it’s also great to add some punch to a simple taco, and my Mom loves it on cottage cheese (go figure!). Anyway, I thought I’d try it out.
I ended up baking some of each at the same time. They are virtually the same in terms of looks, though the flavor is subtly different. A nice variation.
I’m happy that I finally tried these. Though they are totally addicting! They are light and tender, and so it would be really (really) easy to polish off a batch without knowing it! But tasty they are, and a fun, easy recipe for a bit of a nibble. They would be terrific along with other savory nibbles as well, like the marinated olives that we recently made. So very happy that I got these made. Now of course, I will have to make them again!