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Pistachio-Sharp Cheddar Shortbread

Pistachio-Sharp Cheddar Shortbread

Kathy Gunst
This savory shortbread, with meaty pistachios and sharp cheddar, make the ideal accompaniment to any sharp cheese like Shelburne Farms Two-Year Extra Sharp Cheddar or your favorite aged, hard cheese. They are a perfect addition to any cheese plate.


  • ½ cup shelled roasted, and salted pistachios, 2.5 ounces
  • ¾ cup 96 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 packed cup 85 grams grated sharp cheddar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick unsalted chilled butter cut into
  • ½- inch cubes
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling the top


  • ►In the bowl of a food processor, pulse pistachios until finely ground. Add flour, cheese, salt, pepper, and butter and pulse about 10 to 15 times until the butter is incorporated into the mixture. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water and pulse; if the mixture starts to come together you have enough water. If it still looks crumbly and loose add an additional ½ tablespoon of water and pulse again. Wrap the dough in a piece of parchment or wax paper, use the paper to shape it into a ball and refrigerate for 45 minutes or up to several hours.
  • ► Preheat oven to 350°F. Place parchment paper or silicone mats on two cookie sheets.
  • ►Remove dough from refrigerator. Place a second sheet of parchment paper or wax paper on top and gently roll dough out to about ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter or small glass, cut 2-inch size rounds and place on prepared cookie sheets, about 1 ½ to 2 inches apart. Take the scraps and roll into a ball; roll the dough again to ¼-inch thickness and cut out a few more 2-inch rounds. You should have 16 two-inch shortbreads.
  • ► Bake on middle shelf for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top. If you like you can sprinkle the top of the still-warm shortbread with coarse sea salt.
  • ►Place on a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes. The shortbread can be kept for about a week in a tightly sealed container stored in a cool, dark spot. You can also refrigerate for about a week or freeze for two months.

Kathy Gunst

James Beard Award-winning food journalist Kathy Gunst always has cheese in her refrigerator and is constantly on the lookout for new pairing combinations. The author of 16 cookbooks, her most recent work is Rage Baking—The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury and Women’s Voices. She writes for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Eating Well, and other publications.

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