Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cheese Shortbread with Parrot

I've previously mentioned that I participate in a forum where there are frequent cooking challenges. This month's challenge is "Holiday Entertaining." I thought this would be the perfect time to try out a recipe that I've been eying for several months. Of course, it's from my favorite cookbook, How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

Here is the recipe:

Cheese Shortbread

8 TB (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
2 c. grated semi-hard cheese (I used cheddar)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 c. whole wheat and 1 c. all-purpose)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cayenne (I put in a bit more since I like things spicy!)
paprika, optional (I opted out since I didn't have any)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Food process everything together until it's a coarse meal texture. Form into 1" balls (you need to really roll them in your hands to form the ball). Place about 2" apart on greased or nonstick pan (avoid nonstick with parrots in the house!) and slightly flatten with your hand. Bake about 10 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with paprika, optional. This recipe is supposed to make 30-40; I wound up with 43.Delicious! Although next time, I think I'll use a sharper cheddar, or possibly try one of the suggested variations with blue or goat cheese. Since I am more unpredictable eating sweet things than savory ones, these are much safer to keep in the house. There are still some left, 4 days later, whereas 43 cookies would likely have already been consumed.

These really caught the attention of Stella, who helped herself:I love how she tries to clean her beak on the wire rack.

Then, she even started eating the crumbs on the ground! She doesn't really like holding food in her feet, so when she does, you know it's good!
I imagine she's asking me why I put the rest of them in a parrot-proof container!After rereading, this post, I feel the need to add this disclaimer. This isn't a healthy parrot recipe. However, there's nothing in it they can't have. Despite the fact that it looks as though Stella ate a lot, you can see by the crumbs all over, that most of it landed on the counter. This was a people recipe, and she happened to make me laugh while stealing some for herself :)

I didn't post yesterday as I had an unexpected day off. There was a terrible snowstorm and the weather people were saying not to go out unless it was absolutely necessary. So I had a nice day off, reading, working out, and spending time with the parrots. Thomas and I did go for a walk in the afternoon, after he got home from work. I wish I'd brought my camera -- it's so beautiful, with the freshly fallen snow. We have hopes of cross-country skiing this weekend!


Sugar Selections said...

Stella is a doll baby in that video.

I'm definitely going to have to try that recipe because I love to make brown sugar shortbread for my grandma.

WendyKnits said...

THANK YOU for the Cheese Shortbread recipe! Right before Thanksgiving I was mourning the loss of an old recipe for "Cheese Puffs" -- this recipe is remarkably similar and probably even better. I'll be trying it out soon. :-)