Savory Herb, Black pepper and Parmesan Shortbread filled Cookies/Crackers

A rich and creamy sundried tomato filling is sandwiched between crisp, yet tender and savory crackers.

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.

Note: These can be made without the special molds; see recipe below for directions to make flat crackers.*

They are delightfully delicious, but rich. One or two per person would be plenty!

It's basically a savory shortbread dough, flavored with Parmesan cheese, finely minced rosemary (any herb would work), and a couple of grinds of black pepper (can omit, but it adds a nice flavor point.)

I rolled some of them in chopped parsley for color/flavor.

A friend gave me this recipe for the savory shortbread, intended to be shaped into a log then sliced and baked off to make flat crackers. I simply pressed the dough into the molds and baked them. As I was making these, I realized this is based on the Barefoot Contessa's (Ina Garten's) recipe for Parmesan Cookie-Crackers, which I have made before.

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.
Whichever combination you choose you will want to keep the filling rather stiff so it doesn't ooze out when bitten into. They are best right after they are assembled, but the components can be made ahead then put together shortly before serving.

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.


  1. I remember when you inspired me to get some too:)

    That's happened quite a bit:)

    Beautiful presentation Mary.I could bite the screen.

  2. oh i just loved these, i so enjoy seeing all your creativity spread out in one fell swoop!

  3. They look so good! I had forgotten about the molds, I only used them one for cookies. Time to get them out!


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