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Happy Monday, Friends! What better way to start the week than with Cookie Week?!

In case you missed the post yesterday, my blog pals and I are working to bake up a difference this week for Cookies For Kids’ Cancer! We are each taking a day to bake a cookie from the Cookies For Kids’ Cancer: Best Bake Sale Cookbook.

You can help us pay-it-forward by raising awareness & funds for pediatric cancer research by entering my Be A Good Cookie Giveaway. That’s right! All you have to do is enter to win a cool box of cookie swag, and you’ll help Cookies For Kids’ Cancer at the same time.  It’s practically effortless!

Now, on to the cookies…

Parmesan Cheese Bites

When I first received my copy of the Cookies For Kids’ Cancer cookbook, I could not put it down. Seriously! I read the entire book cover to cover. Not only is the book full of great recipes, but also inspirational stories, bake sale tips, and creative ideas.

While browsing the recipes, these Parmesan Cheese Bites practically leaped off of the page.  A savory cookie that was a hit at both bake sales and cocktail parties? I was definitely intrigued.

The cookies are buttery, cheesy, with a subtle bit of heat; they practically melt in your mouth. They’re also made with only four ingredients & come together in less than 10 minutes–what’s not to like about that? All you need is flour, unsalted butter, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and a touch of cayenne pepper.

Cut the butter into very small pieces. Note: I had a feeling that my family was going to devour these cookies, so I made a double batch. For the first batch, I cut the first stick of butter with a chef knife–it was kind of a big pain in the hiney.

For the second batch, I grated the cold butter on a box grater, after I finished with the cheese–that was much faster and easier. You do whatever you have the patience for.

Place the flour, cayenne, and freshly grated parmesan into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2 or 3 times to distribute the ingredients. Add the butter chunks to the work bowl.

Pulse the ingredients until the dough just comes together into a ball. My vintage food processor brought it all together in about 12 to 15 times before the dough came together.

Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and divide it in half.

Roll each half of the dough into a thick log; about 4-inches long by 2-inches around.

Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap, and place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or up to 2 days. I chilled my dough overnight.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a couple of baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper, and set them aside.

Use a sharp knife to slice the cookie dough logs into 1/4-inch thick slices–you should get about 12 cookies per log.

Place the slices onto a prepared baking sheet, about 2-inches apart. Brush the tops of the cookies with a little milk or half & half, for added sheen. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool before serving.

All I have to say is WOW! Y’all know I am a sweets kind of girl, but these little parmesan bites were fantastic. I’m definitely planning to keep this cookie dough on hand in the refrigerator. That way, I can take it out & bake it up for impromptu gatherings or munchy late night snacks. Just imagine your guests reaction when they walk into your house and smell the cheesy goodness baking in the oven!

What I did & would do differently: I originally cut the amount of cayenne that the recipe calls for in half. The cookies had a very subtle back heat, so next time, I think I’ll go with the full amount, just to spice things up a notch. I think I’ll also try adding a teaspoon of finely minced, fresh rosemary to give even more flavor.

Also, I’ll slice the cookies even thinner next time–around 1/8-inch slices–so that they can almost act as delicate crackers alongside tapanades or thinly smoked fish.

And, hey! Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for Day 2 of Be A Good Cookie Week, on which Jeanne of Inside NanaBread’s Head gets a little nutty with her cookies.

Parmesan Cheese Bites

From the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: Best Bake Sale Cookbook

Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 C. all-purpose flour

2/3 C. freshly grated parmesan cheese

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter

2 Tbs. whole milk

  1.  Place flour, cheese, cayenne, and butter into a food processor and pulse until well blended.
  2. Shape dough into 2 logs, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in an airtight container. Refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Remove the dough from the wrapping, cut into ¼-inch slices, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush each slice with milk and bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside to cool.
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