Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to make Cheesy Pennies

Its insidious, really. How you start off customizing your homepage on google, adding a widget here, a gadget there, getting headlines, jokes, cartoons, weather, quotes, tarot readings, rants from the Huffington Post, alerts on the free fall of stocks you are embarrassed to still own when all rational creatures have been holding cash for months, a pond full of fish you can feed...you know the drill. Then someone invites you to be a friend on facebook, and you find yourself not only saying yes, but then spending way too much groping for a way to make the ordinary moment seem intriguing, wry, yet casual and spontaneously witty. Not to mention the ridiculous number of quizzes and numbered lists that seem to be involved. And yet, it seems manageable, fun even. Then you notice the number of blog feeds you've subscribed to, and the clogging of your bookmarks with glorious photos of dishes you will never make, links you have no time to follow, a world out there that others are busily annotating, analyzing and posting. The madness then takes over, and you are struck by the seeming ease of the thing, the nearness of your camera, your facility with typing as well as the next guy, and the fact that its all FREE with your google ID, and suddenly, you're making Cheesy Pennies.

That's all there is to it. At least in my case.
Here's another option, which requires no typing, and a lot less commitment.

Cheesy Pennies

by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus a couple of hours to chill
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Adapted from Farm House Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis.
Make dough at least 3-4 hours before you plan to eat these.

  • Scant 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 8 oz. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


Whisk together the dry ingredients, set aside.

Cream the butter in a mixing bowl until soft and pale yellow. Add the cheeses, and mix well, then stir in the dry ingredients. The mixture will be a bit stiff.

Shape the dough into 2 logs, about 9 inches long and 1 inch around. Wrap them in waxed paper, then in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, or up to a week. (The dough can also be frozen for up to a month...thaw for a bit before proceeding)

Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the rolls into rounds that are about 1/4 inch thick, and place them about 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. (I always use Silpat sheets, but you can do what you like)
Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. 

Cool, enjoy.
They keep about a week, but mine never really last that long.

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