These are the second 'grown up' shortbread cookies I have posted. Santa would thank you for leaving them with a glass of wine! But the good news is you can make serve them any time of the year.
They have a middle eastern flare and are delicious with a glass of wine. I like these with a fruity or peppery red wine in particular- think Syrah or Merlot. The mild herbal notes in the cookies complement the wine beautifully while the cheese and butter tame the tannins.
Dried pomegranate seeds surprise you with a bit of a tingle. I found these in a middle eastern grocery store along with the dhukka spice. My friend introduced me to dhukka and she often makes her own. It is typically a blend of toasted nuts and seeds such as hazelnuts or almonds, coriander, cumin and sesame seeds. It is then ground into a coarse powder. It is a delicious appetizer when you dip some bread or flatbread in olive oil and then the dhukka powder.
I bought a mix already prepared at the market. I only used a ½ teaspoon of dhukka since many of the party guests would not be familiar with the flavor. If you are serving to a crowd that already knows and loves dhukka consider upping it to 1 tsp.
And I found dried pomegranate seeds. The young girl at the counter didn't know what they were used for but I wasn't passing them up! They are dehydrated pomegranate seeds, tangy, quite firm and can be used in dhukka blends, za'atar blends or baked into breads.
The dhukka and the pomegranate seeds give these savory cookies a bit of a grainy texture. If you can't find dried pomegranate seeds I would substitue finely chopped dried cranberries to get that hit of tartness. In keeping with the middle eastern bent I also added dried turkish figs for a touch of sweetness.
As with the Lemon Thyme Shortbreads you can make these ahead and store in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze and use as necessary. They keep well in an airtight container stored in a cool place as well.
Savory Goat Cheese Shortbread
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temp
- 4 oz goat cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 dried Turkish figs stem removed, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon dhukka omit if you don't have it
- 1 teaspoon dried pomegranate seeds (Sub 2 tablespoon dried cranberries finely minced if you prefer)
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until dough comes together.
- Turn out on to plastic wrap. You may need to work the dough a bit with your hands to get an even consistency. Shape into a log about 2" X 2" and 7-8" long.
- Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and slice into ¼ in slices. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake approximately 15 minutes. Watch so they don't brown.
- Cool and serve. Dough can be refrigerated for a few days before baking or frozen.