What do you do when you have a meeting or a party to go to and you have to bring something to eat? Do you go sweet or savory? Do you go grand or understated? Whatever you do – go big or go home. By big, I mean big flavor.
My issue was compounded due to the fact that my get together was with a bunch of foodies. While you might think another foodie wouldn’t have a problem deciding what to bring to a foodie gather, but you would be wrong. The pressure was staggering! Okay, I may be exaggerating just a bit – okay a lot. I thought that most people would go the sweet route, so I decided that savory was the way to go. That and the fact that I’m trying to get ready to go out of town, made me also go for E-A-S-Y. Oh, and if you were wondering where my story of Craig is, he was already out of town so I had to hold down the fort by myself (another reason for easy).
Appearances can be deceiving. These cookies look like those adorable little Walker’s shortbread cookies or those discs made by those sweet little elves that live in trees. While they may be little, they are not sweet. They get their savory kick from Parmesan cheese a topping of more cheese and black smoked salt. I got the original recipe from an old Bon Appetit magazine, but I’ve really changed it up. (Shocking, I didn’t leave a recipe alone.)
Along the lines of full disclosure I have to give mad props to the photographer on this one. Patti, over at Worth the Whisk took this shot for me. I didn’t bring my camera. So thank you Patti! BTW, she’s got some great recipes over there too.
Spice things up at home too. I know that I just talked about going out on weekly dates. But instead of going your regular route: a movie, dinner, a play, don’t tell you significant other what this nights date is. Have them meet you somewhere then walk together to an art gallery, a wine bar, or a hot new club. The idea is to just get in the mindset of doing something different every once in a while. They say variety is the spice of life and that doesn’t just pertain to food. It also pertains to things that you do or places that you go together.
Makes 2 dozen
- 1 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (plus more for topping cookies)
- 1/2 Cup Finely Ground Toasted Walnuts
- 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Fennel (or fennel pollen)
- 1 Cup Butter Cubed (2 sticks)
- Black Hawaiian Smoked Salt (or large crystal smoked salt)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper (these cookies are pretty delicate when they come out of the oven, the paper helps when removing them from the baking sheets).
Mix flour, Parmesan cheese, fennel and walnuts into bowl of food processor.
Add butter, in small pieces, and pulse on and off until dough starts to come together.
Bring the dough together to form a ball. Divide the ball in half and roll into 2 12″ logs. Roll each log in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for 1 hour.
Remove dough from refrigerator and break into pieces and form balls.
Arrange balls on lined baking sheet about 1 1/2″ apart. Flatten each ball into a 2″ circle.
Sprinkle tops of shortbread cookies with Parmesan cheese and smoked salt.
Bake shortbread until tops are dry and edges begin to turn golden brown (20-30 minutes).
Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool on racks.