Peppery Cheese, Nut, and Cornmeal Cookies

These are my favorite appetizers — you can make them ahead, and slice and bake as you need them. Very savory.  Trisha

Makes about 100 cookies (or crackers)

2 ¼ c. (approximately 9 ounces) pecans
8 oz. Asiago cheese, finely grated (about 2 cups)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. sharp Vermont white cheddar cheese, preferably Grafton Village, coarsely shredded (about 2 cups)
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c. stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 T. finely ground black pepper
½ t. kosher salt
½ t.  ground cayenne pepper.

1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375°.  In a shallow metal pan, like a cake pan, toast the pecans, stirring once or twice, until crisp and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan immediately, cool to room temperature, and finely chop.  Measure out 2 c. chopped nuts (reserve any extra for another use).

2. In a food processor, working in batches if necessary, combine the Asiago, butter, cheddar, flour, cornmeal, black pepper, salt, and cayenne.  Pulse until thoroughly blended.  Turn the dough out into a large bowl, scatter the pecans over it, and knead in the bowl until the nuts are evenly incorporated and the dough is smooth.  Give the dough several whacks to knock out any air pockets.

3. Divide the dough into four equal pieces.  Roll each piece out into a 12″ cylinder about 1″ in diameter and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.  (At this point the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.  Thaw frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator).

4. To bake, preheat the oven to 400°.  Line several half sheet pans with parchment paper.  Slice the chilled dough into 1/8″ thick rounds, arranging the rounds on the prepared pans, spacing them about 1 ½” apart.  Bake, exchanging the positions of the pans on the racks from top to bottom and from front to back, halfway through baking, until the cookies are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to racks and cool to room temperature.

5.  Store the cookies airtight at room temperature; the cookies will keep for at least a week and actually develop more flavor after sitting for a day or two.  Or the cookies may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Trisha (Fourth of July Party)
The Jimtown Store Cookbook

Leave A Comment