Bleu Cheese and Walnut Cookies (PDF)
Recipe 322 of 365
I can’t decide whether these are better as an unusual appetizer, served with a little tray of olives or a schmear of tapenade, or as a dessert geared toward those who prefer a more savory nibble after dinner. Either way, they’re a unique take on shortbread, and easy to make. Bake them all at once, or wrap half the prepared dough well in plastic and freeze for a month or two, until the next time you need them. They’ll take a few minutes longer if you slice and bake them from frozen.
TIME: 25 minutes active time
MAKES: 40 cookies
1 cup walnuts (shelled halves)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces blue cheese (such as Point Reyes Original), crumbled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until browned and fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. (Watch carefully!) Transfer the nuts to a cutting board to cool, and turn off the oven.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cheese with the sugar on medium speed until light, about 3 minutes.
With the machine on low, add the flour to the mixer a little at a time, and mix until the flour is fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the mixer with a plastic spatula when needed. (The dough will be a little crumbly.) Finely chop the walnuts and stir in half by hand, and spread the rest out on the cutting board.
Divide the dough between two 1’ square pieces of wax paper. Roll each mound into a log almost a foot long and about 1 1/2” in diameter. Roll the logs in the remaining walnuts, wrap each log in wax paper, twist the ends to seal, and chill for 2 hours (or up to 3 days), or until very firm.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking sheets, and set aside.
Slice dough into 1/2” rounds, and arrange on baking sheets, about 20 cookies per sheet. Bake the shortbread for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, or until the cookies are only very barely beginning to brown at the edges. (They will not look much different from when you put them in.)
Cool the cookies 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.