Cheddar and chive shortbread

This savoury twist on one of the most iconic holiday cookies is the perfect addition to your holiday cookie list.

Makes 4 dozen cookies 

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 6 oz coarsely grated old Cheddar  cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked, for brushing
  1. Place the flour, sugar, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor with the butter and pulse until the mixture is rough and crumbly and no bits of butter are visible.  Add the Cheddar and pulse until evenly combined. Add the egg yolks and pulse again until the dough shapes itself into a ball.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in the chives by hand (if you add them in the food processor, the dough will turn green). Shape the dough into 2 logs about 1 ½ inches across, wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.  Place the sesame seeds on a large flat plate.
  4. Unwrap the dough, brush the logs with the egg white and then roll in the sesame seeds to coat fully. Slice coins about ¼ inch thick and arrange them on the trays, about ½ inch apart.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool completely on the trays. If gifting, stack the cookies and pack them snugly in a box or tin, or wrap in a cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.

Hint: This recipe is perfect for great fior freezing and baking it another day. The trick is to ensure the logs of dough keep their shape in the fridge. Shape the dough into a log just a touch smaller in diameter than an empty paper towel roll. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, slip it into the cardboard roll and chill or freeze. The cardboard protects it from denting or flattening on the side it is resting on while it sits in the fridge!