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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: My Cheddar Pecan Savory Shortbread recipe yields addicting savory, crispy, and crumbly cookies. You can make it all in one bowl, and it doesn’t contain eggs!
As many of you Bold Bakers know, a lot of baked goods tend to be sweet – and rightfully so! While many of us love a sweet treat to satisfy our sweet tooth, some of you may prefer something on the saltier side.
That’s why I’ve taken a typical shortbread recipe and added a savory twist! My Cheddar Pecan Savory Shortbread is the perfect cookie for those who enjoy a saltier, savory snack. It’s packed with sharp, salty cheddar cheese and crunchy toasted pecans. Believe it or not, it gets better! This recipe only requires 4 ingredients and doesn’t contain any eggs.
Shortbread is tasty any time of the year, so it’s a great treat to have as a party appetizer on its own or to decorate your cheese plates. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll prepare a beautiful crumbly Cheddar Pecan Shortbread to enjoy by yourself or share with friends and family. Try it out!
Table Of Contents
- What Is Cheddar Pecan Savory Shortbread?
- Tools You Need
- How To Make Cheddar Pecan Shortbread
- How To Toast Pecans
- Gluten-Free Cheddar Pecan Savory Shortbread
- Can I Make Cheddar Pecan Shortbread In Advance?
- How To Store Cheddar Pecan Shortbread
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Shortbread Recipes
What Is Cheddar Pecan Savory Shortbread?
Shortbread is a type of buttery cookie, biscuit, or pastry usually made of butter, sugar, and flour. It gets its name from its crumbly texture because “short” used to mean crumbly and dry back in the day. Shortbread is one of the most popular cookie varieties because of its versatility. The cookie itself is pretty simple, so adding different mix-ins such as dried fruits, nuts, cheeses, and chocolate spice it up!
In this recipe, I decided to create the ultimate savory shortbread with extra sharp cheddar cheese and toasted pecans. Feel free to experiment with different kinds of cheeses and nuts for unlimited savory shortbread combinations.
Tools You Need To Make Cheddar Pecan Shortbread:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Stand mixer (alternatively, a medium bowl and an electric hand mixer or food processor)
- 2 Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Silicone spatula
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
- Round cookie cutter
- Wire cooling rack
Ingredients You Need To Make Cheddar Pecan Shortbread:
- Butter: Butter will increase the flavor and moisture of your shortbread. Feel free to use salted or unsalted butter, but be sure to soften it.
- Cheddar cheese: Use finely grated, extra sharp cheddar cheese to add a great cheesy kick to your shortbread.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour typically has a protein content of 8-11%, making it perfect for these shortbread cookies so that they aren’t too chewy or elastic.
- Pecans: Toasted pecans are great for adding crunchy texture and nutty flavor. Finely dice them before incorporating them into your dough.
How To Make Cheddar Pecan Shortbread:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and cheddar cheese with a whisk or paddle attachment until smooth.
- Fold the flour into your butter and cheese mixture until just combined, and then stir in the diced pecans.
- Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap well, and refrigerate until firm. You can also roll your dough into a log shape.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven and line baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough, and use a round cookie cutter to cut as many 1/4th inch-thick circles as you can. If you rolled your dough into a log, you can cut slices instead. Place them apart on your parchment-lined baking pan. Gather and reroll any scraps.
- Prick the shortbread all over with a toothpick and bake until the cookies look dry and baked through.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
How To Toast Pecans
Toasting pecans is an important step in making this shortbread because it will make them even crunchier and bring out an even nuttier flavor.
To toast your pecans, preheat your oven to 350℉ (180℃). On a baking sheet, spread out your pecans evenly and place them in the preheated oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Once they begin to brown and you can start smelling the nuttiness, take them out of the oven, and toss them halfway through. Continue toasting them for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool down before dicing and incorporating them into your shortbread dough.
Gluten-Free Cheddar Pecan Savory Shortbread
As mentioned before, there are only 4 ingredients in this recipe! That being said, we want to make every ingredient substitutable for all bakers. If you’d like to make gluten-free Cheddar and Pecan Shortbread, check out my Guide to Gluten-Free Flours.
Can I Make Cheddar Pecan Shortbread In Advance?
Yes! Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it off. I suggest baking your refrigerated dough within 3 days or storing it in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you are baking from frozen, let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
How To Store Cheddar Pecan Shortbread
If you have leftover baked Cheddar and Pecan Shortbread, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you are freezing, place parchment paper between the individual shortbread so that they don’t stick together.
Why is my shortbread so hard?
Your Cheddar Pecan Savory Shortbread may turn out hard if you overwork your dough. Mix just until combined to prevent this issue from occurring.
Why is my shortbread falling apart?
This shortbread will be slightly crumbly, but it should not fall apart too easily. Make sure to use butter in this recipe instead of other fat sources such as oil or else your cookies may lack the necessary gluten and result in a crumbly, unstructured cookie.
What should I do if I don’t have a stand mixer, electric hand mixer, or food processor?
Though using a stand mixer, electric hand mixer, or food processor will make your job a lot easier, there’s nothing a little elbow grease can’t fix. Use a whisk and silicone spatula to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips:
- Be sure to use extra sharp aged cheddar cheese in this recipe for the best flavor!
- If your cheese isn’t as salty or sharp as you’d like, you can sprinkle about 1/4th teaspoon salt (kosher salt or sea salt) and 1/8th teaspoon black pepper into your dough.
- Always remember to toast your pecans! It’s very easy to toast nuts and they are much more flavorful this way.
- This dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before rolling and baking or frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
- You can use different-shaped cookie cutters or just use a knife to cut squares or rectangles if you wish.
- These crackers would be a lovely addition to a cheese plate.
For More Shortbread Recipes, Check Out:
- 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies
- Homemade Walkers Scottish Shortbread Cookies
- Perfected Millionaire’s Shortbread (Caramel Squares)
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread
- Butter Pecan Shortbread Cookies
And don’t miss more everyday baking recipes in my NEW Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook!
Cheddar Pecan Savory Shortbread Cookies Recipe
- ½ cup (4 oz/115 g) butter, softened
- 2 ⅔ cups (8 oz/225 g) extra sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
- 1 cup (5 oz/142 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (5 oz/142 g) pecans, toasted and finely diced
- In a stand mixer or in a medium bowl with a electric hand mixer, beat together the butter and cheddar cheese on medium speed until smooth.
- Fold in the flour until just combined, followed by the pecans. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap well and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch (6mm) thickness and using a 2-inch (5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut as many circles as you can and place them about 1-inch (2½ cm) apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Gather and reroll any scraps.
- Prick the crackers all over with a toothpick and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cookies look golden, dry and baked through.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.