Parmesan shortbread

December 31, 2018

These snacktacular biscuits have a funny little back story. We
were attending a vegetarian barbecue co-hosted by a dear vegan
friend, and she willingly took charge of decorating a pavlova for
dessert. She’s not in the habit of prepping dairy, and she
accidentally whipped a batch of cream all the way to butter! Since
she had no interest in using it, we popped it into a jar and took
it home. (There was still leftover cream, and the pavlova was
saved.)
I resolved use that butter the next day, when we were
attending a New Year potluck. The dessert course, a couple of
salads and a vegetarian centrepiece were already planned by others.
I remembered some fantastic home-baked shortbreads that I recently
ate at a birthday party, and figured I’d give them a go.
The one extra challenge to this plan was that one of our hosts
eats gluten-free! I’m delighted to report that the recipe I’m
posting here works just as easily with Orgran
gluten free flour
as it does with plain flour. I made one batch
with each flour type as a risk-spreading measure, since there was
plenty of butter to go around. I seasoned both batches with

some fancy smoked garlic and rosemary salt
; the gluten-free
ones had the salt worked into the dough and some leftover slivered
almonds pressed into their tops, while the glutenful biscuits were
sprinkled with the salt.
The shortbreads were just the thing for nibbling on with
cocktails before our meal. The textural difference between the two
batches was very subtle. I’d baked all of them to a soft texture,
and I’d be interested in gently pushing them to a deeper, crumblier
brown in future. I noticed that they rapidly went stale following
exposure to air, but somehow the biscuits were still all gone by
January 2.

Parmesan shortbread
(slightly adapted from
epicurious
)

1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
200g cold butter
drop of iced water
fancy salt, slivered almonds or another garnish (optional)

Place the flour, parmesan, cayenne and salt in a large food
processor bowl; pulse them together to mix. Cut the butter into
rough cubes, drop them into the food processor, and blend
everything together until well combined. If the mixture isn’t yet
clumping into a dough, add a little iced water while the blades are
still running.
Turn the clumped mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap.
Bring it together into a single mass and work it into a thick
sausage shape: I went for a cylinder about 4cm in diameter and
25-30cm long. Wrap the dough up in the plastic wrap and refrigerate
until firm, at least an hour.
Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line one or two trays with baking
paper.
Retrieve the dough log from the fridge. Slice it into rounds
(mine were about 5-7mm thick) and place them on the baking trays.
Sprinkle them with any garnishes you’ve chosen, gently pressing
them into the top. Bake the biscuits for about 20 minutes, until
they’re golden brown around the edges. Let them cool for at least 5
minutes before moving them. Store them in an airtight container –
they go stale quickly in the open air!

Source: FS – Healthy – Vegetarian
Parmesan shortbread



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