Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Peppery Feta Shortbread

This is a simple savoury shortbread cookie or a cracker recipe using feta cheese and pepper.Shortbread is usually made from one part sugar,two parts butter and three parts flour.They are called so because of their crumbly texture due to high fat content.The fat content is from butter /shortening.The shortbread is usually baked at lower temperatures to prevent burning and can be white,brown or golden brown.Normally these are sweet as can be seen from the ingredients,but if you want a savoury cookie,you need to avoid sugar or any sweetner.I found a savoury shortbread recipe here and recreated it with little changes.


All Purpose Flour: 2/3 cup
Yellow Cornmeal:1tbsp
Pepper: as per taste
Fennel(optional):very few
Feta Cheese: 6 tbsp or 3 oz
Unsalted Butter: 3 tbsp cold
Olive Oil: 2 tbsp


In a big bowl,combine flour,cornmeal and pepper and fennel if using or any other herb of your choice.Add in grated feta cheese and mix well.Add in cold butter cut into pieces.Combine well using hands pinching and fluffing butter pieces till the mix looks like coarse sand.Add in olive oil and combine the mix together to form dough.Shape the dough into log shape or any required shape and wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour atleast. Alternatively,you can freeze the dough if using later for upto 1 month and can thaw it in the fridge for a while before using.

Preheat the oven to 375F.Take out the chilled dough log and cut into slices and arrange these on a bakingsheet.Ungreased bakingsheet also works fine.Sprinkle more pepper on each slice and then bake for 8-10 minutes or more until the edges start browning a little.Mine took 12 minutes.But still it was light or almost white coloured,though the bottom was little brown.Allow it to cool for a few minutes in the baking sheet and then serve as such.Alternately you can cool them completely in a wire rack after a few minutes.These are very crumbly cookies and go well with soups or as a snack.

I have not added salt to the dough as feta is salty.Also you can also use softened butter as seen in some recipes.But generally cold butter is used in shortbread,so I went for it.Butter,especially cold butter prevents the formation of long gluten strands in flour which results in the crumbly sensitive texture.Those who like the salty feta cheese would fefinitely like these crackers.

These savoury shortbread are on their way to WTSIM:Sweet Savoury Swap event hosted this time by the creator herself-Jeanne,the CookSister.


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