[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.
3 thoughts on “gruyere and pecan shortbread”
Note: make sure you mix really really well. If there are globs of butter they will melt through in the bake and it ain’t pretty. If you don’t have rosemary triple up on the pepper — it’s really delicious too. Next time I bake I’ll be using finely chopped jalapeno and see how that goes.
An alternative that works very nicely: sundried tomato and parmesan. Different though!
Add 1/3 cup or so of chopped sundried tomato to the flour before mixing in butter
Replace gruyere with parmesan
Reduce the butter by a couple of tablespoons — the oil in the tomatoes will make up for it
Depending on the oiliness of your tomatoes you might need to adjust the flour to get a dough with a good texture. Cook for a couple minutes less or on parchment as the tomato on the bottom of each cookie will otherwise burn and turn bitter (some of us like that but we are weirdos).
Pecorino instead of gruyere and sage instead of rosemary works great. Slight sour finish you expect from pecorino and a nice bite from the peppercorns in the kind I bought. No need to adjust any proportions.