A few friends are coming over for a "Cheesy Love Song" party next weekend, an afternoon of stinky cheese, champagne and the greatest sappy hits. Clearly, I did not invite any boys.
I'm thinking these cheddar shortbread crackers will make an appearance at the cheese-themed affair. The dough can be made ahead, wrapped, and frozen, which is ideal for a party—they're almost as effort-free as slice-n-bake nonsense. They'd also be a thoughtful gift for any Valentine born without a sweet tooth. Either way, the recipe is finally perfected, so give these a try!
CHEDDAR SHORTBREAD CRACKERS
MAKES: about 2 dozen crackers
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
1. Beat the butter in a bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the cheese, salt, pepper and cayenne until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the flour and cornmeal and beat until the mixture resembles pebbles.
2. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until it comes together. Roll into a 1-to-2-inch-thick log, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use, at least 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350˚. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough into coins (shape each coin to form a heart, if desired) and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until slightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.