Gruyere and Black Pepper Cookies
These are best the day they are made, but can keep for a few days if you need to make them in advance. As I mentioned above, just about any hard cheese will do here – see what your preference is. I very much like the punch and funk of Gruyere. Tightly wrapped, the dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
8 ounces (226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces (227 grams; 2 cups) Gruyere, freshly grated
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350[dg]F; position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. In a large bowl of a stand mixer set at low speed, beat the flour, butter, Gruyere, and black pepper until stiff dough forms. For a couple of minutes, the dough will look dry and will not come together; keep mixing and you will see it form into a ball. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, and roll each piece into a 9-inch log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill the dough, in the refrigerator, for about 1 hour – it will make the slicing easier. Alternatively, if making this ahead, you can freeze the dough for up to 2 months and let it sit 15 minutes at room temperature before slicing.
2. Slice the logs into 1/3-inch thick cookies and arrange the slices on 2 large, nonstick baking sheets. You should place the cookies about 2 inches apart from one another. They will spread somewhat in the oven, and you don’t want them to stick together. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown around edges, shifting and rotating the pans halfway through baking for even browning. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the cooking in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Makes about 60 cookies