Savory Shortbread: Poppy and Sesame or Cheddar

  • Author: Dana Gerard
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 22 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 2 mins
  • Yield: 48 1x
  • Category: Appetizer/Bread
  • Cuisine: American

Homemade savory shortbread is the perfect appetizer or dessert option with cheese and fruit. Make either two seed or savory cheddar shortbread and add variety to your next snack, soup, salad or dessert.


  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 T cornstarch, optional
  • ½ t kosher salt
  • ½ t coarse ground pepper
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • 1 T sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 t ice water
  • Cheddar version:
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 T cornstarch, optional
  • ½ t kosher salt
  • ½ t coarse ground pepper
  • ¾ cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 t ice water


  1. Cream butter for 5 minutes.
  2. Sift together flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, poppy and sesame seeds and sugar. Cheddar version: Sift flours, salt, pepper and cayenne. Fold in cheese AFTER mixing flour with butter completely.
  3. With mixer on low, add in flour mixture in three additions.
  4. Sprinkle in 1 t of ice water to help dough form. Mix just until dough sticks together.
  5. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a ball or cake.
  6. Cut ball into 4 wedges. Roll each wedge into a 4-inch log. Wrap logs well in plastic and freeze for 15 -20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F (325 F convection bake) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Remove logs from freezer. To make 12 slices, cut each log in half, then cut each in half again. Cut each fourth into three slices.
  9. Place cookies on baking sheet and bake them for 20 -22 minutes. After the first ten minutes, rotate tray to ensure even baking.
  10. When cookies are done, use a spatula to transfer them to paper towels or a flat piece of paper bag to soak up the butter.
  11. Serving Ideas:
  12. Dessert: Serve with semi-soft cheese, fresh and dried fruits and apricot preserves.
  13. Cheese Board: Serve with your favorite cheese, salsa or dip. Add raw veggies or fruit, like apple slices and berries.
  14. Soup, Salad, Chili, Stew: Serve instead of bread or croutons.
  15. Quiche or Casserole: Use shortbread crumbs for a quiche crust or atop a casserole.


Adapted from Ina Garten and Faith Gorsky,