Today we are thrilled to share with you a guest post and recipe from Faith; the talent behind one of our favorite blogs, An Edible Mosaic. Faith not only creates beautiful and delicious dishes, she pairs fabulous stories and gorgeous images alongside each of her original recipes. Her creativity in the kitchen knows know end and her recipes go beyond her blog, expertly showcased in her beautiful cookbook
I love the idea of Social Club Dinner…dressing up to match the theme of the dinner, and then heading out to a beautifully decorated venue to enjoy great food and the company of fabulous friends. It sounds to me like the perfect way to spend an evening. I am absolutely thrilled to participate with a suggestion of what to make for such an occasion.
When thinking about recipes, my mind went to shortbread…with a savory twist! It’s completely elegant, surprising, and fun, and maybe best of all, it can be made a couple days in advance.
Shortbread is one of those things with just a few ingredients, and really there are just two ingredients in its most basic form: butter and flour. Other additions like sugar and salt enhance it, but butter should be the most predominant flavor, so be sure you use the best quality butter you can find.
I add a little bit of cornstarch to these shortbread cookies to make them extra short, but this addition is completely optional. Also optional is a little sprinkling of sea salt flakes on the top of the cookies before baking to give them a little burst of briny saltiness.
Thanks to cream cheese, this whipped feta has a super-creamy texture similar to mayo; however, its taste is a complete surprise. It is tart and salty, with peppery undertones from the olive oil. Like the shortbread, use the best quality ingredients for the whipped feta that you can get your hands on. It makes a surprising, delicious topping for these savory shortbread cookies, cutting through the rich butter flavor of the shortbread with its tangy saltiness. And it looks like frosting, which is a fun play on traditional cookies.
Together, these cookies and whipped feta make a fun and elegant appetizer, but you could go a couple other ways. The cookies can stand alone or be topped with a bit of deli meat and cheese (such as smoked turkey and gruyere), cream cheese and lox, or just cream cheese and fresh herbs. The whipped feta can be paired with something else such as crudités or pita chips, or even used as a sandwich spread.
By Faith Gorsky, www.AnEdibleMosaic.com
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Yields 1 dozen cookies
1/2 cup (115 g) good-quality unsalted butter (such as Kerrygold), slightly softened
1 1/4 cups (160 g) whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon sugar (preferably super-fine)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1/2 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cream the butter, then add all remaining ingredients and stir until it comes together as dough. (At first it will look like there isn’t enough liquid; keep stirring and after a couple minutes it will come together.)
- Roll the dough into a 6-inch log; wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes, flipping the log over once halfway through chilling.
- While you chill the dough, preheat oven to 325F; line a large baking sheet with parchment paper if desired.
- Once the dough is finished chilling, slice it into 12 (1/2-inch thick) cookies. Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake until they’re set, but aren’t browned on the bottom, about 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the tray once halfway through.
- Right out of the oven, use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a paper towel or paper bag-lined tray to drain the excess grease (yes, shortbread has a lot of butter!).
- Cool completely before serving. If desired, serve these savory cookies along with Creamy Whipped Rosemary Feta to spread on top.
By Faith Gorsky, www.AnEdibleMosaic.com
Yields about 1 cup
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
4 oz (115 g) crumbled feta (about 1 slightly scant cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz (115 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- Pulse together the feta and lemon juice a couple times in a food processor.
- With the motor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil.
- Add the cream cheese and pulse a few times to combine.
- Add the rosemary leaves and pulse once or twice to incorporate.
- Serve immediately, or chill and serve cold.