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Cheese Shortbread

August 1, 2010

This Cheese Shortbread recipe makes savory puffs that are a great little snack to have with a glass of wine before dinner. Packaged in a pretty container, they would be a welcome little hostess gift.

I had never made the recipe before; I found it in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Using a food processor, it is ultra-easy to make; if you don’t have a food processor you can use a pastry blender or a fork.

I used Tillamook medium cheddar, and they have a good cheesy flavor. A sharp cheddar might give even better results.

Mark called for 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne; I used 1/4 teaspoon for just a hint of pepper. Use more if you want it spicier.


Cheese Shortbread

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything.)


(print the recipe)


These can be made a day ahead and stored in an air-tight container.


Makes 30-40 puffs


Almost 8 ounces (7 ¾) Tillamook medium cheddar. Close enough!


8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut in cubes

1½ cups (180g) all purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups (8 oz) cheddar cheese, grated

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne


Everything in the food processor:


1. Preheat the oven to 400˚.

2. Put everything in the food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Don’t over-process. (Or combine with a pastry blender or fork.)

3. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper (which is what I did).

4. Form the dough into 1-inch balls. Flatten them on the baking sheet with your fingers.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, until puffed up a bit and golden brown.

6. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2010 8:51 am

    i buy these ones especially my little ones likes it a lot. know thanks for the recipe i will certainly for once atleast try it ….

  2. August 1, 2010 11:02 am

    Mmm, these look so good! I feel like I can already taste the buttery cheese-iness. I think they’re a little too dangerous for me.. I think I could eat just these as a meal. 😡

    • August 4, 2010 6:18 am

      Yes, they are good, Roxan. I’m already feeling the need to make some more!

  3. August 1, 2010 11:06 am

    They are like cheese cookies and you are right, I think these would go great with a big glass of wine! Thanks!

    • August 4, 2010 6:19 am

      Yes, cheese cookies! I think next time I would make them smaller, though. More of a bite-size pop-in-your-mouth size.

  4. August 1, 2010 7:38 pm

    those cheesy shortbread look delicious…..all that lovely cheddar!

    • August 4, 2010 6:20 am

      I think sharp cheddar next time for even more cheddar flavor! 😉

  5. Laura permalink
    August 1, 2010 9:17 pm

    So are these crunchy? Like a homemade version of cheetos?

    • August 4, 2010 6:22 am

      They aren’t cruchy like cheetos. They’re more like Cheez-Its. And I think making them smaller, they would be even more like Cheez-Its.

  6. August 2, 2010 12:19 pm

    I think I could live on these. Do they resemble cheese straws at all? Or are they much lighter in texture?

    And good choice on the Tillamook — seriously love that stuff.

    • August 4, 2010 6:24 am

      I think the egg makes them a bit lighter in texture than cheese straws, but the flavor is the same. I love Tillamook, too…there’s always some in our refrigerator! 🙂

  7. Tress permalink
    August 31, 2010 4:33 pm

    These sound fantastic! Also, the new Tillamook garlic chili cheese that I recently discovered would give it some kick as well. I see many different variations w/different cheeses here. Can’t wait to make them!

    • August 31, 2010 4:43 pm

      I think garlic chili cheese would be fantastic, Tress! Thanks for the suggestion!

  8. Laura F. permalink
    January 2, 2016 12:48 pm

    I made these yesterday as an appetizer for a New Year’s Day celebration and they were a huge hit! My eggs were small, so I ended up having to use one and a half to get the dough to come together, but they still turned out great. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to make them again! 🙂

    • January 2, 2016 1:24 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Laura! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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