Made these for guests to eat before thanksgiving dinner and they were a huge hit! Everyone loved how crisp and cheddary they were. Some people used them as an alternative to chips for dipping. They were very simple to make and are easily changed to any holiday with a different cookie cutter.
Cheddar-Pecan Shortbread Leaves
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Total: 2 Hours, 15 Minutes
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half
- Parchment paper
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
- 2. Process cheese and butter in a food processor 10 to 15 seconds or until creamy, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add flour and next 3 ingredients; pulse 9 to 10 times or until mixture is crumbly. Add toasted pecans; pulse 4 to 5 times or until combined. Add half-and-half, and process 10 to 15 seconds or until mixture forms moist clumps.
- 3. Transfer mixture onto plastic wrap on a flat surface; gather dough into a ball, and flatten into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour until firm, or seal wrapped dough in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and chill up to 3 days.
- 4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 1 1/2- and 2-inch leaf-shaped cutters. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- 5. Bake at 325° for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 15 minutes.
- Note: You can also freeze thoroughly cooled, baked shortbread leaves in an airtight container. Store in freezer up to 2 weeks.
- TRY THIS TWIST!
- Blue Cheese-Pecan Shortbread Leaves: Omit half-and-half. Substitute 1 (4-oz.) container crumbled blue cheese for Cheddar cheese. Prepare recipe as directed, pulsing 9 to 10 times after adding pecans in Step 2.
Bake shortbread 3 days ahead and store in airtight containers, or make dough, chill up to 3 days, and bake right before your party.
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