gruyere and pecan shortbread

Om nom nom.

[revised this recipe after much delicious experimentation]

I had these from a little cheese shop in Vancouver about 15 years ago and I have just perfected the recipe for them. Enjoy.

  • 1 3/4 cups salted butter (EDIT 2: watch your butter; too much and you get meltdown)
  • 180g gruyere cheese grated finely
  • couple teaspoons of chopped fresh rosemary
  • 50g crushed pecans
  • 3 cups flour
  • bit of salt (not much; butter has salt and so does cheese)
  • several squonks of black pepper

Leave the butter out to soften.

Sift together the salt and flour and pepper and rosemary in a bowl and then toss in the grated cheese. Toss the cheese in the flour until it’s all well mixed. This step keeps the cheese from clumping up and makes sure it’s evenly distributed in the dough.

Add the butter and knead it in with your freshly washed hands. When well mixed, knead in the flour. Seriously, get your fingers in it. You want to make sure there are no big globs of butter as that will leave craters in your cookies. Knead in the crushed pecans. Mix ’em in good. Form the dough into a loaf and plop it on a generous sheet of cling film. Wrap it up and roll it out while wrapped and soft into a cylinder. Square the edges if you like. Chill until firm (a couple hours in the fridge is good).

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Slice your loaf into 1/4 inch slices, give or take. More give than take — somewhere between a quarter inch and a centimeter. I don’t know — if they fall apart they are too thin. Bake for 20 minutes in my oven. They will brown nicely because of the cheese. Holy shit are they good.

Serve naked or with a slice of pear. Have some beer on hand as they are a little dry to scarf down at the rate you will want to.