cheddar shortbread

You guys know I’m a major dough-eater, right? Okay, well, if not, there you go – cookie dough, cake batter, brownie batter, any of that – major weakness. As embarrassing as this story is, I will tell you that I have actually reached into the oven to take one more spoonful of pound cake batter from the pan. (Pound cake batter is even better than chocolate chip cookie dough, I’m not even kidding.)

So I was a little worried about these after I mixed up the dough. It…well, frankly, it wasn’t very good. It didn’t have enough flavor. But I don’t have a lot of experience baking savory cookies, so I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to taste.

After baking, they were pretty good actually. My students must be getting braver, because I got more feedback on this one – would be good with garlic, herbs, and, um, served with wine. (“I mean, I don’t know if you drink wine”, he said. I did not respond with, “Do I ever! But only on weekends.”)

In the end, I think they mostly taste like Cheez-Its. Which is an okay thing, I think. But hey, garlic, thyme, and a bit of salt couldn’t hurt. And what isn’t better served with wine? Just wait until they’re baked before you start eating them. (Oh, you do that with all cookies? Well, aren’t you the picture of self-restraint.)

One year ago: Fresh Strawberry Scones
Two years ago: Caesar Salad

Printer Friendly Recipe
Cheddar Shortbread (adapted from Whisk: a food blog)

Makes about 30 cookies

Despite the advice of my students, I’m not sure I’d add garlic, which sounds like it could easily become overpowering. I could go either way on herbs, and I definitely think some salt (maybe ¼ teaspoon to start) would be a nice addition.

I’m not sure I baked these this long; I think it’s more likely that I baked them about 10 minutes, just until they no longer looked wet on top and they were slightly browned around the edges.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup (4.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. In a food processor, mix all of the ingredients with the metal blade until the dough forms a ball.

2. Roll the dough into a log. (You can freeze the logs by wrapping them in plastic wrap and put them in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.) Slice into ¼-inch rounds and place on baking sheet. Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator or 30 minutes in the freezer.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until light brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. I am not a picture of self-restraint, but you made me laugh out loud.

    Perhaps the garlic addition would be addressed by a dip in a nice garlicky hummus or similar?

  2. karrie says:

    Why do you have to chil these for 1 hour after slicing before baking??????

  3. ha I too am a dough eater…it’s bad…

  4. Yum! I love anything with cheese in it! this cheesy cornbread is my favorite, though, because it has onions in it, too!

  5. bridget says:

    karrie – It keeps them from spreading in the oven.

  6. I’m a dough eater too, though I had to laugh at grabbing one last spoonful of pound cake batter from the oven! Can’t say I’ve ever done that 🙂

  7. I am a major batter eater too! And I have the same doubts. When a batter doesn’t taste good, I’m all worried, and expecting nothing 😛

  8. lol, on eating dough. I even eat raw pie dough – def a freak.

  9. Sylvia says:

    Try adding a bit of dry mustard, ancho chili powder, or Worcestershire sauce. I’ve been making a similar cracker for years, sliced 1/8″ thick. If you use thyme, add black pepper and serve with a dab of pâté. Mushroom is excellent. Best with an especially sharp cheddar. And what on earth is odd about eating dough?!

  10. bridget says:

    Sylvia – Mustard! Worcestershire! Black pepper! All fantastic ideas!

  11. Sylvia says:

    I’m working on some non-gluten versions, too. These things are really popular with my daughter and her teenage friends. Have you played with crushed walnut shortbread yet? Thyme, asiago or reggiano cheese, a touch of paprika…

  12. I need not peruse your recipe index when I’m bored and/or hungry. I want tons and tons of these.