05/25/2012 12:46 EDT | Updated 07/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Cheddar shortbread ‘diamonds’ elegant savoury nibbles for bridal season parties

Savoury shortbreads make elegant nibbles to enjoy with a glass of wine or bubbly. These diamond shapes with glistening sea salt can help set a romantic mood when served at engagement parties, bridal showers or as an appetizer before an outdoor dinner.

Shortbread Diamonds

125 ml (1/2 cup) coarsely chopped sweet red pepper (about 1/2)

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) shredded old white cheddar cheese

125 ml (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut into cubes

500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour

10 ml (2 tsp) granulated sugar

5 ml (1 tsp) ancho chili powder

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

30 ml (2 tbsp) water (approx)

1 egg white

Coarse sea salt

In a large food processor, pulse red pepper until finely chopped. Add cheese, butter, flour, sugar, chili powder and salt. Pulse until dough starts to hold together, adding water a little at a time until dough holds together when squeezed.

Turn out dough into a bowl and knead lightly into a smooth dough. Shape into a flat square. On a sheet of parchment paper with a floured rolling pin, roll out to a 23-cm (9-inch) square about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Slide onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until cold.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 150 C (300 F).

Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut square into 8 equal strips. On a diagonal make 7 cuts along each strip, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart, into 56 diamonds. (There will be triangles at the ends of the strips — either press together into diamonds or bake as triangles). Lightly brush tops with egg white and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Separate shortbread pieces on the parchment so they are at least 1 cm (1/2 inch) apart, using a second parchment-lined baking sheet if necessary.

Bake, one sheet at a time, for about 27 minutes or until firm and just starting to turn golden around the edges. Let cool on pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes, then transfer to rack. Serve warm or cool. (Shortbread can be stored in a cookie tin at room temperature for up to 5 days. Warm in a 180 C/350 F oven for about 5 minutes before serving.)

Makes about 56 shortbreads.

Nutrition information per 1 piece: 78 calories; 2 g protein; 5 g fat; 6 g carbohydrate; 0.3 g fibre; 74 mg sodium.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada.