Give me these and a cup o’ coffee and I’m good…

26 Feb

I made these last night.  I was very intrigued by the idea of savory shortbread.  It did not disappoint.  If you are looking for sweet shortbread…this isn’t it.  This is a buttery delicious parmesean-y shortbread stick.  Sit down with these and a great cup of coffee…NIRVANA!

Parmesan Shortbread with Fennel and Sea Salt

Any salty hard cheese, such as an aged Manchego, Grana  Padano, or Mimolette, would be a fine substitute for the Parmesan. This recipe  is from Caitlin Williams Freeman’s upcoming cookbook, The Blue Bottle Craft  of Coffee.
Makes 18


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room  temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more
  • 1cup finely grated Parmesan (about 2  ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt or other coarse  salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive  oil


  • Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a medium bowl on low  speed until smooth, 1–2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, pepper, and kosher salt.  Reduce speed to medium and beat, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until  light and fluffy, 4–5 minutes. Add flour and cheese. Reduce mixer speed to low  and beat mixture just until dough comes together.
  • Wrap dough in plastic and flatten  into a rectangle. Chill  until firm, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 5  days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before  continuing.
  • Place fennel seeds in a resealable plastic freezer bag.  Coarsely crush with a rolling pin or the bottom of a skillet. Alternatively,  pulse in a spice mill until coarsely crushed. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in  sea salt. Set fennel salt aside.
  • Arrange a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°. Line a  baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Roll out  dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10×8-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch  thick. Cut in thirds crosswise, then cut each third crosswise into 6 rectangles.  Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush cookies  generously with oil, then sprinkle with fennel salt.
  • Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until cookies are golden  brown (flecks of cheese will be slightly darker), 20–24 minutes. Let cool on  sheets for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room tem-perature. DO  AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room  temperature.


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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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