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Start the party with savory cookies

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Using a fraction of the sweetener that most cookies call for, savory cookies can be the perfect antidote to the deluge of holiday desserts. These piquant morsels rely on fresh herbs, cheese and even olives to infuse satisfying flavor into cookie form.

From classic sugar cookies covered in icing to rich, nutty fudge, the holidays are no stranger to sweets. But after several trips down candy cane lane, it doesn’t take long to hit sugar overload.

Using a fraction of the sweetener that most cookies call for, savory cookies can be the perfect antidote to the deluge of holiday desserts. These piquant morsels rely on fresh herbs, cheese and even olives to infuse satisfying flavor into cookie form. They’re a great addition to a holiday brunch spread or enjoy them with a schmear of cheese and a glass of wine. They make an excellent first-course party cookie too, providing a small, savory bite to accompany cocktails.

Try these recipes from PCC Community Markets for delicious treats that will wow you without leaving you in a sugar coma.


Cheese and Fig Oatmeal Cookies

The combination of savory cheeses; sweet, dried figs; and filling oatmeal in these hearty morsels make them just right for breakfast or as a first-course party snack.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup warm water

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese

1/3 cup finely chopped dried figs

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together water, oil, sugar and egg. Place oats in a large bowl and pour wet mixture over the top. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, thyme and pepper. Stir in cheeses and figs. Stir together flour and oat mixtures until well combined.

Scoop tablespoon-sized cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, then flatten to 1/4-inch-thick. Bake until edges are golden and set, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 16 cookies.


Castelvetrano Olive and Orange Shortbread

Compared to saltier varieties, Castelvetrano olives offer a naturally sweet and creamy flavor and texture, which is balanced beautifully by fresh orange zest in these shortbread cookies.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/3 cup drained, pitted and finely chopped Castelvetrano olives

1 orange, zested

Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and orange juice; beat until combined. Add flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in olives and orange zest.

Divide dough in half and press each half into a 2-inch diameter cylinder. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice chilled dough into 1/4-inch-thick disks. Place on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 40 to 50 cookies.


Pine Nut and Sage Cookies

Fresh sage gives these not-too-sweet cookies a light herbal tone that pairs perfectly with tea.

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons pine nuts, plus additional for topping

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 egg

1/2 lemon, zested

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place pine nuts in a dry skillet and toast over medium hyeaheat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and let cool. Chop until coarsely ground.

In a large bowl, whisk together pine nuts, sage, flour, baking soda and salt.

Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in oil, egg and lemon zest. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.

Scoop dough into rounded teaspoons, and space 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten slightly and top each with a pine nut.

Bake cookies, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 20 cookies.


PCC Community Markets has everything you need this holiday season. Get inspired with recipes for cookie exchanges, holiday entertaining and make-ahead brunch. Or leave the cooking to PCC and pick up ready-to-heat holiday sides. Their in-store chefs start from scratch daily and use many of the same fresh, organic ingredients available in their stores to craft delicious, seasonal fare. Reserve your holiday meats and more at pccmarkets.com.

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