Saturday, March 13, 2010

Savory Sesame Herb Shortbread Cookies

Yesterday I battered and fried some avocado.  Today, this.  I must be trying really hard to prove that you can be still be unhealthy on an unprocessed vegan diet.

Last summer, I walked into an Armenian bakery in Pasadena and had "salty" cookies for perhaps the first time--flaky, buttery, shortbready "cookies" that weren't sweet but had little seeds in them.  Now, I could get them in my neighborhood any time, but they have butter and eggs in them.

After looking at a bunch of recipes online, I decided to start with this recipe.  I veganized it, changed the herbs, and added sugar (as many other recipes include a bit of sugar).  One thing that's nice about this recipe is that you can make the dough ahead of time and take it out, slice it, and bake it right when you need it.  Like those storebought dough-sausages that can be turned into cookies.

These taste really delicious.  Fragrant herbs and garlic smells, melt-in-your-mouth butter texture, and a bit of sesame crunch and sugar sweetness as well.  Perhaps serve with wine, olives, other classy hors d'oeuvres?  And I had the dough in the freezer for over a week before baking off the cookies, with no detriment to them.  You could of course experiment with herbs, sugar, etc.

Savory Sesame Herb Shortbread Cookies

1 c white flour
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp sea salt (or less, as earth balance already has salt in it)
1 TB sugar
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 c vegan butter (i.e., earth balance), at room temperature
2 Tbs olive oil
sesame seeds

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients (except sesame seeds). Add butter and oil, and use a fork to cut the butter into the dough until it is mixed thoroughly and there are no recognizable butter clumps left.
Form dough into thin little logs (you may need to refrigerate dough for a bit to make it easier to handle), and roll in sesame seeds. Freeze dough for 30 min (or until needed).
Using a sharp knife, slice the log into ½-inch thick discs. Bake on parchment paper at 350° F for about 20 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

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