This Simple Shortbread Recipe Is the Sweet (or Savory!) Treat You Need
We like to think of shortbread as a day-to-evening cookie. The buttery, crisp base transitions smoothly from sweet to savory, and has the ability to fit perfectly on a cheese plate or a cookie plate. It’s the butter and flour equivalent of a little black dress.
Best of all? This shortbread recipe is simple. The base of the dough is only 4 ingredients. Our version includes cheese and herbs for a sweet and savory cookie that pairs perfectly with cocktail hour. If you’re more of a true dessert person, you can take a little creative license here: swap the herbs and cheese for vanilla and lavender, orange zest and poppy seeds, or any of your favorite baking spices.
1/2 cup finely grated cheese (Gruyere, Parmesan, Aged Cheddar, Manchego)
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Place the flour, sugar, herbs, salt, and cheese into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse just until a soft dough forms; the dough should hold together when squeezed with your hands; if not, add a tablespoon of water and pulse until combined.
Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and transfer the dough onto it. Form the dough into a loose log along 1 edge of the long side of the sheet. Roll the dough log, twisting the plastic gathered at the ends in opposite directions until the log is tight and compact, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough log into 1/3-inch thick slices and arrange on the lined sheets, about 1-inch apart. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes.
Cool the shortbread on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve. Yields 24 cookies.