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Cheesy Jalapeño Shortbread

Cheesy Jalapeño Shortbread: A Spicy Twist on Buttery Bliss

Prepare to embark on a journey of flavor with our Cheesy Jalapeño Shortbread – a delightful marriage of rich, buttery shortbread and the bold kick of jalapeños. This unique savory shortbread is a testament to the harmony that can be achieved when classic recipes meet creative twists. Join us as we guide you through the steps of crafting these irresistible bites that strike the perfect balance between cheesy indulgence and spicy warmth.

Ingredients

For the Shortbread:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

For Garnish (Optional):

  • Additional finely chopped pickled jalapeños
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and grated cheddar cheese.
  2. Add finely chopped pickled jalapeños, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to the bowl.
  3. Gradually add all-purpose flour to the mixture, stirring until a dough forms.

Step 2: Shape the Shortbread

  1. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log.
  2. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until the dough is firm.

Step 3: Preheat and Slice

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Remove the chilled logs from the refrigerator and slice them into rounds of your desired thickness.

Step 4: Bake to Perfection

  1. Place the shortbread rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. If desired, garnish each round with additional finely chopped pickled jalapeños and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

Step 5: Cool and Enjoy

  1. Allow the Cheesy Jalapeño Shortbread to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. Once cooled, savor the crispy, buttery goodness of these delectable shortbread bites.

Cook Notes

  • Ensure the butter and cheese are at room temperature for easy mixing.
  • Adjust the level of cayenne pepper based on your spice preference.

Variations

Herb-Infused Delight

  • Elevate the flavor by adding a mix of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or chives to the dough.

Smoky Sensation

  • Introduce a smoky element by incorporating a dash of smoked paprika or chipotle powder.

Nuts and Seeds Extravaganza

  • Enhance the texture by folding in finely chopped nuts (such as pecans or walnuts) or seeds (such as poppy or sesame seeds).

Keto Version

For those on a keto journey, savor the flavor with these modifications:

Flour Substitute:

  • Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour or a keto-friendly baking mix.

Low-Carb Cheese Choices:

  • Opt for full-fat, low-carb cheese options like cheddar or Gouda.

Additional Variations:

  • Experiment with keto-approved herbs and spices like garlic powder or dried parsley.

Low-Carb Version

Trim down the carbs without compromising on taste:

Flour Substitute:

  • Choose a low-carb flour alternative such as almond flour or coconut flour.

Low-Carb Cheese Choices:

  • Opt for full-fat, low-carb cheese options like cheddar or Swiss.

Additional Variations:

  • Integrate low-carb herbs like thyme, basil, or oregano for added depth.

In conclusion, Cheesy Jalapeño Shortbread is a testament to the endless possibilities that arise when traditional recipes take a flavorful detour. Whether you follow the classic recipe, experiment with tempting variations, or embark on keto and low-carb adaptations, these shortbread bites are a versatile canvas for culinary creativity. Share them at gatherings, savor them as a delightful snack, or surprise your taste buds with the perfect blend of buttery richness and jalapeño heat. Let each crispy bite transport you to a realm where the warmth of cheddar cheese, the kick of jalapeños, and the buttery goodness of shortbread combine to create a symphony of flavors that lingers long after the last crumb. Elevate your snack game with Cheesy Jalapeño Shortbread – a savory treat that invites you to savor the fusion of bold and buttery in every delicious bite.

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