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Cheese Shortbread Crackers:

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 ounces (170 grams) extra sharp white cheddar cheese, finely grated

Sesame Seeds (optional)

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Cheese Shortbread Crackers: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk the flour with the cayenne and black pepper.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer or you can mix the batter by hand with a wooden spoon), beat the butter until smooth. Then add the flour mixture and grated cheese and beat until combined.

Using about 1/2 tablespoon (10 grams) of batter for each cracker, roll into a small ball. If desired, roll each ball in sesame seeds. Place on the baking sheet, spacing about 3 inches (7.5 cm) apart. With the bottom of a glass, gently flatten each cookie until it is about 1/4 inch thick (.5 cm).

Bake the cookies for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just starting to brown. Rotate your baking sheet front to back about halfway through baking.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. The Cheese Shortbread Crackers can be served warm or at room temperature. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week or they can be frozen.

Makes about 38 Cheese Shortbread Crackers.


Shortbreads don't have to be sweet. This recipe is for a savory Cheese Shortbread Cracker. Bite into one and you will recognize that buttery crisp shortbread texture, but instead of sweetness, you will get a burst of cheese flavor with just a hint of heat from cayenne and black pepper. Serve them warm from the oven or at room temperature. They make the perfect Hors D'oeuvres but are also very nice alongside a salad or a bowl of soup.

It is always good to have recipes that not only taste good but are easy to make. You will be surprised at how quick these Cheese Crackers are to prepare. You can even make the batter ahead of time and then bake them off as needed.

As always, when making shortbreads use good quality ingredients. For the butter, I have used unsalted butter, but salted butter can also be used. For the cheese, I've used an extra sharp white cheddar cheese, and you want it finely grated. You can use other cheeses, like Gruyere, Edam, or Gouda. I also like a little heat, so I've added both cayenne pepper and black pepper. You can adjust the amounts to suit your taste. Once the batter is made, it is rolled into individual balls and each ball is then rolled in sesame seeds (this is optional). Then flatten each ball slightly and bake. If you prefer, you can make these Crackers 'slice and bake' by forming the batter into a log, chilling it, and then you can simply cut the log into 1/4 inch (.5 cm) slices and bake.