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Savory Pesto Slice-and-Bakes & Summer Orchids

August 7, 2011

The garden fresh summer fare carries on.

In our continued quest to further reduce the pile of recipes on the kitchen counter, we decided to make a batch of these Savory Pest Slice-and-Bakes. Mom makes an excellent pesto from the mass amounts of basil that the garden produces throughout the summer months. She then vacuum packs the prepared pesto in ¼ cup amounts and thaws it as needed for crackers, pasta and other things. She clipped this recipe out because of its use of pesto, and because our family happens to be a large consumer of hors d’oeuvres, especially if there is cheese involved.

This savory shortbread can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for more immediate use or the freezer for spur of the moment entertaining or sudden cravings. :]

Savory Pesto Slice-and-Bakes:

2 cups flour (I used 1 cup AP, 1 cup WholeWheat)

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp salt

¾ tsp cayenne pepper

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 8oz package cream cheese

¼ cup pesto

1 cup shopped walnuts, pecans, or whole pine nuts

 Directions:

Sift flour, salt and peppers together and mix well. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, add pesto and mix well. Stir in flour, cheese and nuts. Mix well. Divide dough into four parts and roll into logs about 2” in diameter, wrap in wax paper and place in fridge and chill until firm. I ended up with logs about 12” long, each log should produce about 20 shortbreads. I made one of the batches and froze the other three for later. You can probably leave a batch in the fridge for a few days before making it.

To bake:

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll logs in coarse salt (optional, but tasty!) to coat. Slice dough about ¼” thick. Bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Yum! I made them this morning and we have been snacking on them all day. They are similar to cheese straws, only a bit more flavor intense and nutty. I like how the entire batch took about 20 minutes to whip up and can be kept on hand for emergency hors d’oeuvres, or can cater to a relatively large party of people, as the full batch makes about 6 doz. These will be excellent with a nice glass of wine before dinner!

^Mom’s orchids, one of many, looking beautiful as usual!

Enjoy!

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