Blue Cheese and Bacon Shortbread
Its holiday season again somehow. I was invited to a cookie exchange and tree trimming last night so cookie ideas have been buzzing around in my head all week. I thought that it might be good to bring something with a little protein to compliment all the sugar and champagne I was sure to consume. This recipe is one that my friend Ellen has been tantalizing me with for months so I’ve been looking for an excuse to try them out. I think that the crowd was happy for a tasty little treat that helped lessen the blood sugar spike.
Adapted from Sips and Apps by Kathy Casey (Chronicle Books, 2009)
makes 3-4 dozen bite-sized cookies
¾ cup pecans (about 2 ½ to 2 ¾ ounces)
4 strips bacon, minced (about ½ cup, packed)
Salted butter, as needed to make ½ cup with bacon drippings (about ¾ of a stick)
1 cup crumbled bleu cheese (about 4 ¾ ounces)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1/4 teaspoon dried)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Spread nuts on rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool and then coarsely chop.
3. In a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat, sauté the minced bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes; do not scorch. Drain the drippings into a heatproof measuring cup and reserve the bacon separately. Let cool. To the cooled bacon drippings, add butter as needed to make ½ cup total.
4. In a medium bowl, cream the bleu cheese, thyme and pepper together. Add the butter mixture and mix in well. Add the flour and mix the dough for about two minutes. Add the bacon and nuts and mix until just evenly combined.
5. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log with a diameter the size of a quarter. Cover the logs with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Chill for at least half an hour, but preferably overnight.
6. Slice the logs into ¼ inch thick slices and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake cookies for about sixteen minutes at 350 F, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Cool on the sheets.
- Cookies are very crumbly with this list of ingredients. Recommend try Shirley Corriher’s recommendation in Bakewise: create gluten in the flour prior to adding it to the fat. Stir in about 1 ½ teaspoons water to the flour prior to mixing it with the other ingredients; it will have some little lumps, but they will disappear when added to the other ingredients.