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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: My Blue Cheese & Fig Savory Shortbread recipe has everything you want in a perfect combination of savory and sweet flavors – plus it only takes 4 ingredients and no eggs!
Shortbread is arguably one of the best kinds of cookies in the world. It’s got a great crumbly texture and beautiful buttery flavor, and most of the time, it’s very easy to make!
With this in mind, I created my lovely Blue Cheese & Fig Savoury Shortbread recipe. It’s essentially a typical shortbread cookie, but it’s packed with sweetness from jam figs and salty flavors from the sharp blue cheese. Best of all, you only need 4 ingredients and no eggs.
This shortbread recipe makes very flavorful cookies perfect for gifts or as appetizers. Round up your tools and ingredients, and get baking!
Table of Contents
What Is Blue Cheese & Fig Savory Shortbread?
Shortbread traditionally is a type of buttery cookie, biscuit usually made of butter, sugar, and flour. It gets its name from its crumbly texture. Back then, “short” meant crumbly and dry. The best – and most fun – part of shortbread is its versatility. You can use a variety of mix-ins like dried fruits, chocolates, nuts, and in this case salty blue cheese!
In this recipe, I decided to combine sweet and savory flavors with the sharp blue cheese and sweet mission figs. Feel free to experiment with different kinds of cheeses and dried fruit for the ultimate array of sweet and savory shortbread.
Ingredients You Need
- Butter: Butter adds flavor and moisture to your shortbread. Feel free to use salted or unsalted butter, just make sure to soften before using.
- Blue cheese: Comes in many varieties, from crumbly to creamy and mild to sharp. Any cheese will work, but crumbled blue cheese will add a nice salty and sharp flavor.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour typically has a protein content of 8-11%, making it perfect for these shortbread cookies so that they aren’t too chewy or elastic.
- Dried figs: Sweet, dried Mission figs are perfect for balancing out your salty cheese. Finely dice them before incorporating them into your dough. If you have fig preserves on hand, you can use them.
How To Make Blue Cheese & Fig Shortbread:
- In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and blue cheese until smooth.
- Fold in the flour until just combined followed by the diced figs.
- Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap well, and refrigerate until firm. You can also roll your dough into a log shape.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough, and use a round cookie cutter to cut as many circles as you can. If you rolled your dough into a log, you can cut slices instead. Place them apart on your parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather and reroll any scraps.
- Prick the shortbread all over with a toothpick and bake until the cookies look dry and baked through.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
Gluten-Free Blue Cheese & Fig Savoury Shortbread
The great thing about this recipe is it calls for only a few ingredients. That being said, we want to make every ingredient substitutable for all bakers. If you’d like to make gluten-free shortbread, check out my Guide to Gluten-Free Flours.
Can I Make Blue Cheese & Fig Shortbread In Advance?
Yes, you can! After making your dough and wrapping it in plastic wrap, you can keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. I recommend baking it off within 3 days or storing it in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you are baking from frozen, let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bake off as usual.
How To Store Blue Cheese & Fig Shortbread
If you have leftover cooked Blue Cheese & Fig Shortbread, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. I suggest placing parchment paper between the shortbread layers so that they don’t stick together while in the freezer.
Why is my shortbread falling apart?
Although these cookies will naturally be crumbly, they should not completely fall apart.
- A dry dough can cause shortbread to fall apart. Make sure your dough is not too dry. Because flours don’t absorb liquid the same, adjust it accordingly to get the same consistency as the recipe – a pliable and smooth dough. Considering that butter contains around 80% milk fat and 20% water, adding more butter can hydrate a dry dough.
- Lacking a binder. In egg-free recipes like this one, cookies tend to be more crumbly due to the lack of emulsifier or binder from egg yolks or an egg substitute. In this case, adding more butter can provide water to connect with protein in flour, eventually form gluten to stop shortbread from falling apart too easily.
Why is my shortbread so hard?
Be sure not to overwork your shortbread dough. Mix until just combined, otherwise, they will turn out tough.
What should I do if I don’t have a stand mixer, electric hand mixer, or food processor?
Though using a stand mixer, electric hand mixer, or food processor will make your job a lot easier, there’s nothing a little elbow grease can’t fix. You can use a whisk to combine all ingredients. Make sure to thoroughly combine.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips:
- Blue cheese comes in many varieties, from crumbly to creamy and from mild to very sharp. Any cheese will work in this recipe, so just pick your favorite!
- If you find your cheese isn’t as salty or sharp as you’d like, you can sprinkle about 1/4th teaspoon salt (kosher salt or sea salt) and 1/8th teaspoon black pepper into your dough. The grinds of black pepper will also add some flecks to your crunchy little morsel.
- We use black Mission figs as we like the soft, sweet jammy texture of them. You can use Smyrna (golden) figs as well.
- You can throw all of your ingredients in the bowl of a food processor to make this recipe even easier!
- This dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before rolling and baking or frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
- You can use different-shaped cookie cutters or just use a knife to cut squares or rectangles if you prefer.
- Mix in walnuts, dried cranberries, etc. for added tang and earthiness!
- Serve them with my Homemade Wheat Thins or Buttery Homemade Ritz Crackers.
And don’t miss more everyday baking recipes in my NEW Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook!