Savory Spiced Shortbread Bites

"These tasty little cocktail nibbles are irresistible with a nice glass of sherry by a winter fire, and everyone simply loves them. I wish I could remember where I found this! Possibly *Gourmet* magazine, years ago? No clue. They are more spicy than sweet, but the hint of sugar is just enough. I like to make lots of these to keep around for unexpected holiday guests...they keep a long time in a cookie tin."
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Ready In:
30 pieces




  • Beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Blend all seasonings well with flour, and add all to the butter mixture. Mix with until just combined.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead about 8 times with hands, until dough comes together. Add ice water as needed if dough is too crumbly. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. On a sheet of wax paper, roll each piece of dough into a 3/4"-thick log. Sprinkle lightly with a dusting of cayenne, or a mix of all the above spices if you like.
  • Wrap each log in wax paper and freeze for about 20 minutes, until fairly firm.
  • Slice about 1/2" thick and bake for 15 minutes at 350.
  • (The logs can be frozen a week or more ahead of time, but you will want to let them soften a bit before slicing, to prevent crumbling.).

Questions & Replies

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  1. I'm wondering if there might be mistakes in this recipe. I made them and they were much too spicy for my taste. 1 1/4 teaspons of cayenne pepper seems like a lot in 1 1/2 cups of butter and flour. I made the recipe again and tripled the amount of butter, sugar, and flour while keeping the rest of the spice ingredients the same. I like this version much better!


<p>I've loved to cook ever since I got that Easy-Bake oven for Christmas at age five!&nbsp; There is no food I truly dislike (except processed junk, of course, and the one veggie I've never quite loved is a green bell pepper).&nbsp; I became a vegetarian about 20 years ago, but before that, one of my favorite things was fried chicken livers.&nbsp; I still kind of miss those!&nbsp; I'm not a purist; now and then a bit of grilled salmon is I've stopped trying to label myself!</p> <p>I love to get out and ride my bike around town, and taking long walks is my favorite way of relaxing and feeling good.&nbsp; I'm lucky to live just half a mile from a grocery store, so on nice days I like to take my handy rolling market cart and walk there.&nbsp; Sometimes I do my best menu-planning while strolling along the sidewalk!</p> <p>My married daughter in San Antonio got my cooking gene for sure.&nbsp; We love nothing better than getting in the kitchen together when I visit her, or when she comes home.&nbsp; Holidays are our favorites---we like a pretty presentation and doing the tables, centerpieces, and so forth, as well as trying new recipes and menus.&nbsp; She's recently added homemade baby food to her repertoire, now that she has a baby boy who lovvvvves to eat. I can't wait 'til he starts having birthday parties; while I don't eat sweets myself, I adore baking.</p> <p>The only sort of cooking I'm not overfond of is grilling out, but that's fine; my husband is the King of the Grill and takes over when we entertain outdoors.&nbsp; I'm happy to do the appetizers and sides in the INDOOR kitchen!</p> <p>I love Italy and France, and have many recipes scribbled on napkins from my trips there.&nbsp; I'm in an Italian study group, and the six of us enjoy getting together and trying recipes.&nbsp; My husband and I are also in a supper club, and each month there's a different theme: one summer we hosted a luau with a variety of tropical dishes, and this past fall I built a menu around a French theme, with hearty boeuf bourguignonne (for my carnivorous friends).<br /> <br />I was excited to be chosen Chef of the Day on October 17, 2009, and Chef of the Month in July '12. Thank you,, and all the friends/fellow cooks I've met here. Let's keep on cookin'!</p> <p><br /> <br /><img src= alt=/ /></p>
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