Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rosemary Parmesan Cookies

These cookies are sinfully delicious. They are so crumbly and buttery that they practically melt in your mouth. Now you may be wondering...savory cookies?  Yes - but they aren't for dessert.  They are the perfect make-ahead appetizer.  Set out these cheesy, herby cookies and your guests can nibble away while they are sipping a cocktail and getting ready for the main event.  Think of them as an elegant alternative to a cheese platter.  I make up a batch for a girls night dinner party and they were a big hit.  Aside from them being mouth wateringly addictive, all I had to do was set them on a platter with cocktail napkins and a chilled bottle of champagne.  Appetizers done.  Then I could actually sit with my friends and enjoy spending time with them, rather than fretting over whether the appetizers were hot enough or too cold or sitting out too long.  Plus, they aren't filling so I don't have to worry about people loading up on cheese, meat, and olives, and then being too full to really enjoy dinner.  I highly recommend these little beauties for your next dinner party.
Rosemary Parmesan Cookies (adapted from a recipe by Dorie Greenspan)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary
2 cups flour
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
2 large egg yolks, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 10 minutes, until golden. Turn off the oven and let the almonds cool.
2. Finely chop the rosemary and combine with the sugar in a small bowl.  Stir them around for a bit with a spoon.  Apparently this releases the oils in the rosemary and makes the flavor that much better.
3.  In a food processor, combine the rosemary sugar with the almonds, flour, cheese and salt.  Pulse until the almonds are coarsely chopped.
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolks and pulse until large clumps of dough form. 
4. Lay plastic wrap out onto a board and dump the mixture on top the plastic wrap.  The mixture is very crumbly, but don't panic.  You don't want to work it too much, but as best you can, form it into dough.
5.  Using the plastic wrap to help you, roll into a 1/2 inch log and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  set the logs in the freezer for 1 hour or up to overnight.
4. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°.  With a sharp knife, slice the frozen logs into 1/4 inch pieces to form your cookies.  Arrange the cookies about 1 inch apart on lined baking sheets.
5. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve with cocktails or a crisp, sparkling wine.  I served them with spicy Soppressata and they were perfect together!

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