Friday, December 11, 2009

Spicy Cheesy Shortbread Wafers

This morning, as I was working at my computer, I had the Today show on and saw a segment with Mark Bittman preparing a few recipes for quick holiday entertaining or drop-in guests. Since we just learned that some friends from out-of-town would be stopping here for a visit around lunch time tomorrow, I was happy to see this show.

Bittman's recipe for Cheese Shortbread sounded perfect as I had already planned to serve a platter of a sliced meat and cheese with crackers and baguette slices. These savory cookies sounded like a perfect addition to the platter. I adapted the recipe to things I had on hand.

I found the dough a little difficult to bring together into a log, but with a little extra pressing and prodding, I finally got it to stay together.

I refrigerated the dough for about 30 minutes but I think a longer refrigeration would have been even better. The recipe states that the dough can be rolled into logs, wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to a month. How perfect for quick entertaining!

I added some red pepper flakes and a couple of dashes of Tabasco which gives these a nice little 'bite'. They could be easily adapted to many different variations, which I'd like to try!

Cheesy-Spicy Shortbread Wafers

~recipe adapted from Mark Bittman
by Savoring Time in the Kitchen
Printable Recipe

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into cubes
2 cups grated, aged white cheddar (you could also use Gruyère, Swiss or any other semi-hard cheese)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika or ground cumin (optional)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 dashes of Tabasco

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal being careful not to over process. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter or fork and blend the ingredients in a bowl to the coarse meal stage.

Form the dough into a ball and cut in half. Shape each half into a log about 2-2-1/2 inches thick and wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30minutes. The logs can be frozen for up to a month.

Cut the refrigerated or frozen dough crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet leaving a 2 inches space between them.

Bake until the slightly puffed and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. These look good! My mom used to make cheese wafers -- similar, but not exactly the same -- and I don't have her recipe. I may try these for our Christmas party next week. Nice!

  2. They look really good and would be a nice "back up" in the freezer! Love anything cheesy like that-- your pictures are beautiful!

  3. I love little bites like this..I'll be there on time:)

  4. I've been meaning to try to make these - they look so savory and perfect with drinks. Love the snow on your blog too -how do you do that?

  5. I love savory cookies and these sound so good! Great idea to freeze a log or 2 and keep on hand for December guests!

  6. Oh, yum! I love cheese. I love small things. I love crispy. These are perfect.

  7. These sound excellent, Susan. I love Mark Bittman. Ina Garten has something similar using Stilton and walnuts. I've made it quite a bit.
    Happy Weekend!

  8. deliziosi questi biscottini! gnam gnam!

  9. I love how on such short notice you can just whip up some crackers! I'll keep you posted when I'm coming to visit :)

    They look fantastic!

  10. These look so good...wish they ould appear in my lap through the computer screen.

    I am so happy to have a few hours to catch up on blogs...I am finally finished with trees. New pictures are up on the Christmas blog! then

    read about a miracle and forward on to anyone that is feeling hopeless....Christmas is the season of miracles..

  11. Sounds like a good idea! Great to have on hand..\Did my neighbor from the show like them, LOL..
    Just in case he drops in! :)

  12. Susan, interesting recipe ... We love crackers, sausage, and cheese and your beautiful tray of them looks delicious. ... Don't think that I've ever tried a Mark Bittman recipe, but I enjoy his segments on the Today Show. He's comes across very relaxed and knowledgeable. And I enjoy watching the rapport between him and the Today show correspondents.

  13. I love cheese and your shortbreads looks so wonderfull and thank you for all these explanations
    Have a nice day

  14. I make a version of these with blue cheese, walnut pieces and pepper, and everybody gobbles them up! I'll try your recipe too next time!

    ~ Peggasus

  15. Another winner - you find and make the best recipes. I pretty much use your whole blog as a gorgeous online recipe book :)


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