I have made these cookies a couple of times. The first was when we had arranged to meet with Chef Miles James, from the outstanding local restaurant, James at the Mill. We were planning the menu for an upcoming charity dinner, for which Chef Miles was to cook for, and we had offered to host. I was looking forward to serving these Rosemary Almond and Parmesan Cocktail Cookies, over discussions of cuisine, cooking and courses, but unfortunately, we had to re-scheduled our meeting for the next week, when I completely ran out of time to make anything to serve. However, the very generous and talented chef brought a lovely platter of refreshments, and a bottle of wine that paired perfectly.
I then made a second lot of these Cocktail Cookies for Bookclub, which I served with a couple of different cheeses and a cranberry relish.
ROSEMARY ALMOND AND PARMESAN COCKTAIL COOKIES
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
2 cups flour
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, diced
2 large egg yolks, beaten
Heat oven to 350F. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 10 minutes, until golden. Turn off the oven and let the almonds cool. In a bowl, rub the sugar with the rosemary until moist and aromatic. In a food processor, combine the rosemary sugar with the almonds, flour, cheese and salt and pulse until the almonds are coarsely chopped. Add the butter and pulse until he mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolks and pulse until large clumps of dough form.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead gently until it just comes together. Divide the dough in half and press each piece into a disk. Roll out each disk between 2 sheets of wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Slide the wax-paper covered disks onto a a baking sheet and freeze for at least and hour, until very firm.
Heat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one piece of dough at a time, peel off the top sheet of wax paper. Using a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, stamp out cookies as close together as possible. Arrange the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden (both times I baked these cookies, I came close to burning them – keep a close eye on the time – I think 12 to 15 minutes was plenty). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, November 2011