In my kitchen | cheddar cheese coins

I am not vegan or vegetarian but I am allergic to lactose. However, butter in baked goods does not really affect me but cheesy stuff and milk can make me violently sick. So, no pizza for me. Vegan cheese in cooking has saved me. Oh, how I love them and I am so thankful to the people who invented/discovered vegan cheese! I used vegan cheese on this recipe but I used real butter, so these cookies are not vegan. I substituted vegan cheese though for real cheddar cheese. I am sure that these cookies can be made fully vegan by using vegan butter. Or they can be made with real cheddar cheese as well. I tried to make with both vegan cheese and real cheese. There was not much difference between the two. My co-worker could not tell the difference, and fell in love with the cookies!

Please allow me to share with you my new found joys. There were many things that made me happy today. I could count so many blessings today including being able to stay home to bake these delicious savory cookies on this super-gorgeous spring day. I got to go out to enjoy the sun but I also really enjoyed playing my kitchen baking and taking pictures. Oh, and because I took the day off from work today to do exactly these as part of my self-care.

I am also very happy that I finally found a “photo shoot corner” at my house. My house is cozy. The living room is dark and moody which I love it like that but the lighting is not for food photography. The kitchen and dining room are bright but the cheery yellow walls in the kitchen are horrible as background. Then I thought of clearing out my 1930’s white shabby chic console! Now I have a canvas to shoot photos of my food, ( Mr Sweetie’s dinner or the book that I just finished reading).

Now on to Cheddar Coin Cookies. I first laid eyes on these savory cookies at my neighborhood bakery. This bakery is artisanal and sells really delicious pastries freshly baked from scratch early in the morning. Just like almost everything else in the San Francisco Bay Area, those pastries are really spendy. About a dozen of small cheddar coin cookies carry a price tag of $8.99. I could not resist buying them and they were delicious. I thought, hmmm, these seem easy enough to make. I bet that I could find a recipe for these. And I did. The first two were just okay. I also used real cheddar cheese but the texture and taste were not like the ones from the bakery. I almost gave up thinking I could never duplicate what our neighborhood bakery can bake. Good thing that I did not give up. I planned to bake again on my day off today, and wow! 3rd time’s the charm! I found the perfect recipe courtesy of Good Housekeeping. However, I made slight adjustments below:

Cheddar Cheese Coin Cookies

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

*I used vegan cheese which tasted like real cheddar!
In food processor, pulse flour, Cheddar, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and cayenne until combined. Add butter and blend 1 to 2 minutes, or until dough comes together. Pat into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze 15 minutes, or refrigerate up to 2 days.

1 tbsp. cornstarch
*(Instead of using rolling the dough and cutting with a round cutter, I just cut the dough with a knife while keeping the round shape. ) Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet.

1 tsp. granulated sugar
*I baked the cookies for 20 minutes instead of 15 to 17 minutes. *I also did not have to rotate the cookie sheets. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month.

1/2 tsp. salt *I used sea salt

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

10 tbsp. butter

This recipe is such a keeper! Not only did I enjoy baking these savory cookies, I also could not stop eating them! They were light as shortbread cookies but they do not fall apart. The cayenne pepper gave these cookies a nice kick. In fact, I dusted them with a little bit more cayenne for color and because I like my food spicy. These cookies will make appearances on cheese boards and at my parties. Do not forget the wine! And lastly, I resisted overly saturating my photos, don’t you think? I am so happy that my photography skills are getting better as well. 🙂

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