Jalapeño-cheddar shortbread cookies

Surprise your guests with our cheese-and-hot pepper-laced shortbread wafers--wonderful served with chilled white wine, full-bodied reds and even champagne. They store beautifully, so make a few batches now and they'll be on hand for drop-in visitors throu

Difficulty:
Serves: Makes 48 (1/2-inch/1-cm) cookies

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Dietary guidance: v 

Ingredients

1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup (125 mL) sifted icing sugar
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) grated old cheddar cheese (optional)
3 tbsp (45 mL) minced seeded jalapeño pepper
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

Method

1.Preheat oven to 300F (150C). Place butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, gradually beat in sugar until smooth and creamy. In another bowl, stir flour with cheddar, if using, jalapeño and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into butter mixture just until combined. Then finish forming dough with hands, just until thoroughly blended.
2.Shape dough into 1/2-inch (1-cm) balls. Place balls on ungreased baking sheets at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Flatten slightly with back of a spoon. Bake in centre of 300F (150C) oven until cookies turn a light golden colour and are set in the middle when lightly touched, from 15 to 18 minutes. Slide onto racks to cool. Stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator or freezer, they will keep well for several months

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