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Cheese Rounds

A savory cheese-flavored cracker with the texture of shortbread.

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, warmed to room temperature
6 oz. shredded hard cheese (e.g. cheddar, parmesan)
1 c. flour
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne

Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.  Place the butter and cheese in a mixing bowl.  Mix at medium speed until well-blended.  Add the dry ingredients gradually and mix until blended.  Wrap the dough, forming it into a cylinder, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Unwrap the dough and slice into rounds.  Place these about 1" apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and, if desired, sprinkle the tops with chopped nuts, sesame seeds or freshly ground pepper.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned, then cool on a rack.  Enjoy!
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