These wonderful wafers are our version of the “goldfish” crackers that we all secretly know and love. The dough is extremely pliable and easy to work. Arrange on a platter surrounded by nasturtiums and violets or Johnny-jump-ups, and they’re sure to elicit oohs and ahhhs. The shortbread is especially good when fresh from the oven, but can be stored in an airtight container and kept at room temperature for up to a week, or frozen for about a month.
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1½ tablespoons old bay seasoning
2 cups unbleached white flour
Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a food processor or standing mixer, blend together the cheese, butter, and Old Bay Seasoning until smooth.
Gradually add the flour and mix thoroughly to form the dough. (If you use a small food processor, blend in the flour by hand.)
Shape the dough into a ball; if it’s crumbly, you may need to squeeze it with your hands.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten the ball and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a ¼-inch thickness.
Cut out shapes with the cookie cutter of your choice and place on an unoiled baking sheet about an inch apart.
Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges and bottom.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Yields about 4 dozen 2½-inch hearts. For a romantic presentation, we cut it with a heart-shaped cookie cutter and top with sundried tomato pesto.