2 Savoury Snacks

With all the sweets around this time of year, I often find myself craving salty treats. How about you? Here a couple new recipes I've added to my holiday baking roster that will play nicely with your cheese plate this Christmas!

This recipe is taken verbatim from Bon Appetit magazine, which I picked up for the first time last weekend. I always thought it was more for gourmet cooks, but was pleasantly surprised to find several recipes I'd like to try, like this savoury shortbread. Although the end result is slightly crumbly, it is just as tasty as it sounds! 

A few recommendations: grease the pan, give your dough an extra pat or two, and don't over bake. Also, I used dried rosemary from our garden, so I used about 3 teaspoons, and it didn't stick to the top, so you may as well skip that step unless you're using fresh herbs. 

Rosemary and Toasted-Caraway Shortbread

via Bon Appetit Magazine (December 2013)

1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus whole leaves
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Coarse sanding sugar (for sprinkling)

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast caraway seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Coarsely chop and set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt until very light and fluffy, 7–10 minutes (beating air into butter makes for tender shortbread). Reduce speed to low and add flour, caraway, and rosemary; mix just to combine. Dough will look shaggy and a little dry (it’s not!).

Press dough into two 8” cake pans. Brush with egg, sprinkle with sanding sugar, and top with rosemary leaves. Bake until shortbread is golden brown and sides pull away from pan, 20–25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool in pan before turning out and cutting into wedges or bars.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I burned my first batch of this mix. Let my stupid mistakes be a warning unto you: the heat is low for a reason — turn it up and the honey will ignite. Oops.

I've made a few changes to the original recipe, too. I swapped out Shreddies for nuts, because I found the Shreddies soaked up way too much of the sauce; I doubled the pretzels, because I love pretzels; and I decreased the butter by a tablespoon because it was too wet otherwise (all reflected below). It should also be noted that even though the recipe says to bake until the mixture dries out, it doesn't really do that no matter how long you wait and will dry more outside of the oven. I repeat: do not turn up the heat!

All that being said, if you don't burn it, this mix is really yummy and addictive. Perfect for nibbling once the board games come out or even to give away as hostess gifts, which I did last year. 
Curry-Spiced Crunch
adapted from Food & Drink Magazine (Holiday 2012)

Preheat oven to 250°F. Combine 1 cup Cheerios, 1 cup nuts (I used cashews and peanuts) and 2 cups pretzel sticks in a bowl. Melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter and stir in 2 tsp honey. Drizzle butter mixture over Cheerio mixture and stir until evenly coated. Combine 2 tsp mild curry powder with 1 tsp garlic salt and sprinkle over Cheerio mixture while stirring, until well combined. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until mixture has dried out and become lightly toasted. Let cool on baking sheet. Stir in ¼ cup sultana raisins, if desired.

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