I've had these walnut/almond cookie molds from King Arthur Flour for a few years now, but shamefully I've only used them a few times. I was thinking of what else they could be used for and came up with the idea of a savory filled shortbread-sandwich bite.
I cut this recipe by half~ it made 15 (nut shaped) cookie halves.
Savory Herb, Black Pepper and Parmesan Shortbread
½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened – I used unsalted
¼ (heaping) cup ground, or finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil (or use the dried herb you like)
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the butter, salt, Parmesan, black pepper and basil until creamy. Slowly add the flour, and mix until dough holds together when pinched. If dough is still too crumbly, add up to 1 tablespoon of ice water – may not be necessary.
Turn out onto a floured surface, roll into a ball and then into a log, about 12 to 14 inches long, depending on how large you want the crackers.
Try to make sure the log is an even length, and wrap in foil or plastic and freeze for at least half an hour, or longer if you don't want to bake them off right away.
The day you want to bake them, preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Remove from the freezer, and slice into rounds, about 25 to 35 slices.
Arrange on the parchment lined baking sheet, with a little space between them - they won't spread like normal cookies.
Bake for 15-25 minutes, checking after 15, until golden brown around the edges and smelling delicious (so true!! The smell is intoxicating). Allow to cool thoroughly before filling with the flavored cream cheese mixture. May be assembled no more than 3 hours ahead, store loosely covered in refrigerator.
I can think of many variations for this recipe~ for example:
- A sharp cheddar cookie with a cream cheese & pepper jelly fillin
- Almond-Dill cookie with Salmon-Cream Cheese fillin
- Sun dried Tomato-Herb Cookie with Bacon-Cream Cheese filling, and so forth.
To make ahead, the shells (or crackers) could be baked off and frozen, then thawed and filled.
* These could easily be made without the cookie molds; just roll the dough into a log, wrap and chill, then slice and bake. You can make sandwich style cookie/crackers by filling them and stacking.