Winter arrived in a serious way to Chicago this week. High winds and freezing sleet have created a winter landscape that is alternating between slush and ice, causing few to venture outside without reason. It is officially the season for soups, casseroles and cookies, winter boots, noisy radiators and hot chocolate. While I’m not one to pass up the sweet baked goods that are ubiquitous during this time of year, it’s often the savory ones that I crave. My Uncle Dave recently sent me this recipe for Parmesan and thyme cookies and they turned out to be the perfect weekend baking project.
Parmesan & Thyme Cookies
Adapted from Ina Garten
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 and 1/4 c flour
In a medium bowl cream the butter, Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the flour and mix until the dough has a coarse crumb. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and press the dough into a ball. Roll the dough into a 9" log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to 4 days).
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut 3/8" slices from the log of dough and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat mat. Bake for 20 minutes or until just slightly golden brown.
If you don't have fresh thyme on hand, dry works almost as well. This dough is a bit tricky to roll out because it is slightly dry. Be sure to continuously compress the dough to keep it solid as you work. Once, chilled, the dough is very easy to work with.