Savoury Balsamic Shortbread CoinsTo gift: Fill a plastic icing bag with the coins and tie to a bottle of wine with a beautiful ribbon.
1/2 cup soft unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour*
1 tbsp finely snipped or chopped chives (optional)
*For best results, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and then level it with a knife. Do not scoop cup through flour to fill.
Step 1: Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
Step 2: In a bowl, cream together butter, cheese, sugar, salt and cayenne. Gradually cream in balsamic vinegar a few drops at a time until well blended. Gradually stir in flour to form a dough (if it becomes too stiff to stir, work in remaining flour with hands). After the dough is blended, work in chives evenly.
Step 3: Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper (this avoids having to flour the surfaces which can result in a crumbly dough) and roll out to just under 1/4" thick.
Step 4: Cut dough into 1" circles. Place 1/2" apart on lined baking sheet(s). Re-roll and re-cut scraps. Makes 80 cut-outs.
Step 5: Chill sheet(s) of cut-outs at least 15 minutes or cover and chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight.
Step 6: To bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake chilled sheet(s) of cut-outs (directly out of fridge) for 10-12 minutes on middle rack of oven, or until bottoms are lightly browned.