This delicious shortbread is a savoury combination of rich Asiago cheese, cayenne, garlic and rosemary flavourings. It's perfect paired with red wine or port. Serve in a butter dish with ribbon as a hostess gift over the holidays.
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1-1/2 cups finely grated Asiago cheese, either freshly grated or purchased already grated
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Step 1: Place flour in a large bowl. Coarsely grate cold butter into flour, dipping the stick of butter into flour before each grating. With a fork, mix in remainder of ingredients.
Step 2: Use fingers to work crumbly mixture into a dry dough (it will seem too dry at first but will soften as you work it). When it starts to hold together in a ball, divide into three pieces. Wrap each and chill about 1 hour or until firm enough to work.
Step 3: When almost ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 4: To determine the size of your shortbreads, measure the interior width and height of your butter-dish lid, then subtract 1/8" from both sides. This is the size you should cut your rectangles of dough. Our shortbreads were about 2" x 2-3/4", just the right size to fit the Arcoroc butter dish we used. Tip: If you find the rectangles are too big after baking — they expand just slightly — don't fret: while the shortbread is still warm, trim each edge with a large sharp knife, being careful to chop down in one motion rather than dragging.
Step 5: Roll out each piece of dough between two sheets of wax paper to 3/8" thickness. Mark the dough according to the size of your rectangles of shortbread. Cut the dough with a sharp pizza wheel (a knife can drag the dough and distort the shape of the rectangles). Use a large palette knife to loosen and lift the pieces of shortbread off the wax paper, and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Tip: Use a level baking sheet for straighter shortbreads that will stand in a neat row.
Step 6: Bake on middle rack of oven 10-12 minutes until shortbread is pale golden.
Step 7: Roll out and bake all pieces of dough. Tip: If you are re-using the baking sheet out of the oven for another batch, be sure the sheet has completely cooled before placing the new dough on it. This will prevent the dough from melting before it bakes. The shortbreads will keep for up to five days in a sealed container.