My last encounter with shortbread led to delicately sweet tea-flavored bites drizzled with a citrus glaze.
This time around the shortbread is bold and savory with a hint of honey baked on top. They're almost like crackers and the sweet-savory combo makes you keep reaching for just one more. As much as I enjoy sweet shortbread cookies I think that I may have been permanently converted the savory version.
I first fell in love with the combination of blue cheese and honey at a wine and cheese tasting. The cheese is just so salty and the honey so sweet that the result is intense and delicious.
I didn't want the blue cheese flavor to be overpowering so I kept the amount at 1/2 a cup. It gets creamed with the butter before the flour is added.
Once the log is firm the cookies are sliced and then go back into the freezer while the oven preheats. This ensures that the butter is completely firm before baking so that the shortbread maintain their shape and don't spread or puff up.
Once baked, the shortbread tastes like a mild Gorgonzola or a very old and sharp cheddar with a slightly sweet top. They are delicious (and addictive) on their own but would also work as a base for an appetizer or along with a cheese plate.
I'm already thinking of different flavor combinations for more batches of savory shortbread.. sun-dried tomato, basil, and Parmesan. Ham and Swiss. Bacon and cheddar... I wonder if I'll ever go back to baking the sweet versions again.
Actually, of course I'll go back to the sweet version, then back to savory, then sweet.. back and forth over and over just so that I'll have an excuse to bake a ridiculous amount of shortbread.
Honey-Brushed Gorgonzola Shortbread
1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup blue cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1. Cream the butter and cheese together until smooth
2. Stir in the flour and cornstarch until the dough comes together
3. Squeeze the dough into a log shape, wrap in parchment paper, place in freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
4. Once dough is firm, slice and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets in the freezer and preheat the oven to 350.
5. When the cookies are firm (5-10 minutes) remove from freezer and brush with honey. Sprinkle with sea salt (or a few grains of regular salt) and then bake for 10-14 minutes depending on the thickness of your slices. The cookies are done when the honey has browned and they are lightly brown on the bottom. Allow to cool on wire racks.