Sweet and Savory Cocktail Cookies

Dorie's Chocolate-Cayenne Cocktail Cookies (slightly modified)

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

8 ounces butter, softened

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg yolk

Flake salt, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cayenne, and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with both sugars at medium speed until light ad fluffy.  Add the egg yolk and beat until well combined and smooth.  Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.

Transfer the dough onto a work surface and knead it gently until it comes together.  Divide the dough in half and press each half into a disk.  Roll out each disk between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4-inch thick.  Slide the parchment paper-covered disks onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour, until very firm.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Working with one layer of dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of parchment paper.  Using a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, stamp out the cookies and close together as possible.  Arrange the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with some of the flake salt.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they are just firm.  Shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Julie's Blue Cheese, Walnut, and Thyme Cocktail Cookies

Makes about 6 dozen

Ingredients:

1 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces blue cheese (I used Point Reyes)

8 ounces chilled butter, cubed

1 large egg yolk

Place the walnuts, sugar, and the thyme in the work bowl of a food processor; pulse until the walnuts are finely chopped.  Add the flour, salt, and the blue cheese to the bowl and pulse to combine.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add the egg yolk and process until large clumps of dough form.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into a ball.  Divide the dough in half, and form each half into a disk.  Roll out each disk in between two pieces of parchment paper to a thickness of about 1/4-inch.  Stack the parchment paper-covered disks on a baking sheet and freeze until very firm, at least 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Working with one sheet of dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of parchment paper.  Using a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out cookies as close together as possible and arrange about 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden.  Let the cookies cook on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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