and speaking of cheese (cheese cookies!!)

go directly to the recipe

click on image to see slightly blurry photos of making cheese cookies

cheese cookies These cheese cookies are the best …and they’re not just for holidays!

I first made them the Christmas before last when I was giving little boxes of cookies as presents to work colleagues, two of whom cannot eat sugar of any kind.

We could hardly breathe because they were so wonderful. In fact, we liked them better than cookies made with sugar. (Hehheh, I should have posted about these for Sugar (not) High Friday #15 although with the amount of butter in them, they wouldn’t exactly be taking a little break from the excesses of the holiday period just past.)

They are terrific as pre-dinner snacks. We like to warm them up just a tiny bit in the toaster oven before serving but it isn’t really necessary.

They are dead easy to make, especially if the butter is soft. (I have to put the butter into the oven with the light turned on to get it to soften in our otherwise chilly kitchen.)

Cheese Cookies

  • 1½ c grated cheddar (about 170gm/6oz)
  • ½ c butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil (or safflower, sunflower,…)
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt (more or less depending on whether you use salted or unsalted butter)
  • ⅛ tsp crushed chili pepper

Preparation

  1. Put salt and chili pepper into a mortar. Use the pestle to crush the chili pepper very finely.
  2. In a small bowl, cream cheese, oil and butter together.
  3. Add flour and spices and mix til smooth. Let your hands be your friends.
  4. Shape into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper. Chill til firm.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Slice dough into very thin coin shapes. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet (allow some space between each cookie) for about 10 minutes or til lightly golden and bubbly.

When we finished the last of our Christmas cheese cookie stash in early January, T begged me to make more. And so I did and I will again soon. Because he’s worth it.

A note about silpat: Whatever has been baked before on the silpat will impart some flavour to these cookies. The cookies that I baked on the silpat tasted vaguely of cinnamon buns… does anyone know how to clean silpat so it won’t retain odors?

 

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  • bing

    Mmmmm, those _are_ fabulous cookies; it’s hard to stop after only one … I mean only ten. And you’re right, they _may_ be even better than cookies with sugar.

  • Sounds great; but “cookie”? Sounds like only the shape is left of the “cookie” concept (pedant speaking). Break out the salsa for dipping!

  • ejm

    Well, I might have called it biscuit but then I would have risked being chastised for calling it a biscuit when it is only cooked once (except on the occasion that it is reheated)

    And oh dear… I just looked in the pocket Oxford dictionary that is on the bookshelf next to me and see:

    cook’ie n. (US) sweet biscuit

    I confess that I didn’t know that they had to be sweet in order to be called cookies.

    Now I’m really in a jam… perhaps I’ll have to change their name to “cheese crackers”.

    ————————–
    edit a few moments later:

    Yay!! Good old Merriam-Webster has pulled me out of my jam:

    cook·ie
    1 : a small flat or slightly raised cake

    No mention of sugar there…. WHAT a relief! (heeheeheeheehee)

    Oh yes, and one more thing: good idea to add salsa, Mats. Although cheese cookies are awfully good ungilded.

  • These look wonderful, Elizabeth! I believe I have a similar recipe (somewhere) for cheese “coins”. But they look and sound the same as your recipe. And what a wonderful idea to give savoury cookies instead of sweet cookies for those who cannot eat sugar.

    Lovely as always!

  • CAM

    Personally, I’d call ’em “crackers” or “biscuits” but “coins” is good, too. I can’t get the notion of sugar out of my mind when the term “cookies” is used. Why do biscuits have to be baked more than once. I think the term “cookie” is a North American term — I remember the Aussies though it was really too cute and adorable to call biscuits (“bickies” (sp?)) “cookies.”

  • ejm

    I’ve seen a number of variations on these cheese cookies (yes, I’m obstinant and will continue to label them cookies, so as to distinguish them from cheese biscuits – which aren’t double cooked either…). Some other cheese cookie recipes call for mustard; some call for parmesan cheese; some have no spices at all. But none that I have seen have sugar.

    “Coins” would be a good compromise. I hadn’t realized until looking in my Oxford dictionary that “cookies” was a North American term, even though I knew that they were called “biscuits” in England.

    And as for why they have to be cooked twice in order to be called biscuit? This was just to stave off the literal ones, who would point out the etymology of the word “biscuits”, similar to “biscotti”, both of which mean “twice cooked”. In fact, I believe that really good biscotti still are baked twice.

  • ejm

    Cheese cookies (heh heh) really are a very nice addition to a cookie spread that is often laid out after a festive dinner, Ivonne. They’re very good with red wine as well. If I ever threw a cocktail party, I would definitely serve them along with other snacks.

    In fact, I was going to post about them for “Red & Hot” but decided they were neither red enough nor hot enough to qualify. The cayenne is there just as a little hint.

  • ejm

    I believe that’s correct, CAM. “Cuit” is cooked and “bis” is twice (I think). Similar to biscotti….

    edit: Yes, that’s right about “bis”. It is Latin for “twice” I just checked:
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/biscuit