What Are Savory Cookies + Recipes To Make at Home

When I say "cookies" what do you instantly think of? Chocolate chip cookies? What about sprinkles and frosting? While most of my life I've thought of cookies as sweet treats, recently I was introduced to savory cookies. Buttery, crispy, and crunchy, these savory cookies make the perfect holiday appetizer.

Recently Boursin partnered with Food Network Star, Molly Yeh to present the Wow-Liday Cookie Challenge, showcasing savory cookie recipes from chefs across the country using Boursin cheese as one of the main ingredients.

I got to talk to Molly briefly about savory cookies and how they differ from traditional sweet cookies we are all used to.

"You have to think of them as a party bite," she shared, noting that savory cookies are almost like elevated homemade crackers.

While most sweet cookies tend to be chewy and created using a creaming method with lots of sugar, savory cookies tend to be made in a shortbread method, using butter and flour as the base. These savory shortbread cookies also tend to be flaky and are great on their own or dipped in soup.

How to Make Savory Cookies

Whether you are making these cookies for a New Year's dinner party or for yourself, you'll be sure to enjoy baking these delightful treats. Some of our favorite add-ins include parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, fresh thyme, pecans, and fresh rosemary.

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To make sure your cookies come out perfect every time, line your baking sheets with parchment paper and when cool, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container to keep them nice and crisp!

SAVORY MA'AMOUL COOKIES

Created by Pastry Chef Lena Sareini, Detroit

Filled with Boursin® Cracked Black Pepper Cheese, this traditional Lebanese semolina shortbread cookie is a pastry sure to satisfy this holiday season.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes of Boursin Cracked Black Pepper Cheese
  • 3/4 C Fine Semolina Flour
  • 3/4 C Coarse Semolina Flour (or cream of wheat)
  • 1/2 TSP Dry Instant Yeast
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 TBSP Neutral Oil
  • 1/4 C of water, use more if needed.
  • Pinch Salt
  • Honey
  • AS NEEDED: Sesame Seeds, Sumac, Za'atar, Pistachios (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Make the dough. Place semolina flour in the bowl of a mixer. Add the dry instant yeast, a pinch of salt, and combine for a few seconds until dry ingredients are evenly distributed. Melt the butter, skim off any fat solids that may rise to the top. Add the melted butter and oil to the dough and mix on low until the dough looks like sandy pebbles. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You may add more water if necessary.
  2. Gather the dough, transfer to a bowl sprayed with non-stick spray, cover in saran wrap, and allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Remove ma'amoul dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. If your dough is too stiff and not easily able to form into balls you may add a bit more water and knead to get it softer.
  4. Take two tablespoons of the dough and roll into a ball. Form a hole in the ball using your fingers and fill each ball with 1 tablespoon of Boursin cheese. Pinch the dough ball shut and form into a mound. You may crimp or dock your cookie dough for a nice design. Set the ma'amoul on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Dip each cookie in honey loosened with some water and then dip each cookie in your desired topping. This could be sesame seeds, sumac, or za'atar. If you wish to use crushed pistachios, place them on after baking to keep their vibrate color intact.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20-25 minutes in the middle rack until cookies are a light golden brown.
  7. Drizzle with honey immediately after removing from the oven and garnish with more sesame seeds, sumac, za'atar, or crushed pistachios.
  8. Cool a bit and enjoy!

Tip: You can make the dough using only fine semolina. The coarse semolina provides a nice crunchy texture.
If you do not wish to make the dough a day ahead, you may let it sit out at room temperature for at least two hours. The extra day develops more flavor in the dough.

LEMON & CHEESE STUFFED COOKIES

Created by Chef Paola Velez, Maydan,

Compass Rose DC and La Bodega Bakery DC

This citrus treat stuffed with Boursin® Shallot & Chive Cheese, finished with a hibiscus maldon salt for a pop of color and decoration is sure to wow your guests and foster lifelong memories.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Boursin Shallot and Chive Cheese
  • ½ LBS soft butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla paste
  • 2 TBSP lemon zest
  • 1 TSP lemon juice
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (466 GRAMS)
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1.5 TBSP kosher salt
  • optional: sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Freeze your Boursin Cheese in 1 TSP sized balls. Freeze for 7 hours or overnight
  2. Cream your butter and your sugars until creamy and pale
  3. Add your lemon zest and mix on medium speed
  4. Add your egg and mix
  5.  Add your extract and lemon juice
  6.  Now add all your dries and mix until no flour is visible
  7. Using a 1.25 oz scoop, scoop your cookies onto a parchment lined sheet tray
  8.  Remove your Boursin Cheese from the freezer and flatten out your 1.25 oz dough. Place Boursin Cheese in the center of your dough and seal.
  9. Press down the tops of the cookies and sprinkle with sea salt
  10. Refrigerate your cookies for 30 min before baking
  11.  Pre-heat your oven to 325F
  12. Bake at 325F for 16 min rotating halfway in between

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