I hope you all had a great Christmas/holiday celebration with your loved ones! In my haste to get everything done for the holidays, including my last blog post, I totally forgot to wish everyone a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays.
I did a ton of holiday-related baking, and today I continue my Christmas postings with this recipe for savory cheddar cheese cookies. Ninety-nine percent of my baking is for sweets, especially during the holidays, but not everyone is a sweets eater, either due to personal taste or for health reasons, so this year, I decided to bake up some savory treats for my downstairs neighbor, Martina, who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth.
I got this recipe off the Food Network website, where it goes by the name, Cayenne Cheese Straws. There are a bunch of similar recipes from the various stars of the network. I settled on this one from Ree Drummond, aka, the Pioneer Woman, because of the particular seasonings she used in her recipe – cayenne pepper, dry mustard, and black pepper. The original recipe specified forming the dough into straws that you pipe out with a piping bag, but I suck at using a piping bag, so I resorted to forming the dough into balls and baking them up like cookies instead. Either way, the cookies are a delicious alternative to all the sweets we consume over the holidays. I can also see these being served at a cocktail party for New Year’s.
SAVORY CHEDDAR CHEESE COOKIES – Adapted from Ree Drummond
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Grate the cheddar cheese while it is still cold. I used the large holes of my box grater, but you could also use the medium sized holes. Cover the cheese and leave out with the butter until both reach room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Mix the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, and black pepper together in a bowl, using a whisk or fork.
- Beat the cheese and softened butter with a mixer until fairly smooth.
- Gradually and slowly mix in the flour mixture until everything is combined into a smooth dough.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or 2 spoons, form the dough into small balls (~ 1 inch in diameter), and space them at least an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
7. Slightly flatten the rounds of dough with a fork (to ~ 1/2 inch in height).
8. Bake on middle rack until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. (I have a slow oven, and my baking time was closer to 20 minutes, but your oven may be different, and thus, the baking time may be shorter).
9. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for ~ 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Yield: ~ 4 dozen
Do you bake savory treats for the non-sweet tooths on your list for the holidays? What do you like to make? Please share in the comments.
Have a Happy New Year, everyone! All the best for 2016, and see you next year!