Few things are better than these tasty rounds–buttery, tangy, and crisp-tender–with a glass of wine or non-alcoholic Proxies (pictured is “Pastiche”). Made by Acid League of teas, fruit juices, vinegars, bitters, herbs and other unexpected ingredients to pair with food, these wine alternatives have an “intoxicating” nose.
A Gift from Your Kitchen
An easy and welcome gift, the Shortbreads pack beautifully inside coffee filter-lined tins which I shared this holiday season with my freelance editors/publishers/clients and other professionals who provide service of inestimable value throughout the year.
On December 27, I contributed a dozen shortbread rounds to a happy hour for two (pictured) at the beautiful home of Angela Phillips. We also enjoyed her air fried brussels sprouts and chestnuts warmed with just a hint of olive oil.
Angela lives 8 or so miles away from us and, despite splitting the entire bottle of Proxies, I could drive home safely. These bottles really are “free of alcohol, full of complexity,” but are NOT dealcoholized–and are perfect when you want something beautiful, interesting, and exciting to sip on its own or, especially, with food, but prefer not to imbibe.
The pair of us drank the entire bottle of Pastiche, at only 75 to 100 calories total for each of us. Pastiche is a white wine alternative, made of the following: (FRUIT) Lychee, Pineapple, Peach, Gewurztraminer Grapes; (ACIDITY) Rose Vinegar; (SPICE) Pink Peppercorn, Amchur, Galangal, Clove; and (BODY) Bai Jian White Tea, Oolong Tea, Mosaic Hops. Proxies may remind you a bit of Kombucha but without the assertive fermentation and with many more layered and subtle flavor notes.
Savory Parmesan + Fennel Shortbread
Yield: approximately 4 dozen
(Note: these are also tasty without the parm.)
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup Follow Your Heart or your favorite plant-based brand shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plant-based butter (I like Myokos), broken into chunks
1/2 cup olive oil (may need slightly more or less)
Place first 7 ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times to break up fennel seeds. Add parmesan and pulse a couple more times. Add butter and pulse to distribute. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil, stopping occasionally, until dough comes together, but is not sticky. It should be fairly firm, like roll-and-cut cookie dough. Form into 3 to 4 logs, approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2″ in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Slice rolls into 1/3-inch disks, place 1″ apart on baking sheet, and bake 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Package in airtight containers.
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