A holiday recipe for Goat Cheese, Walnut and Rosemary Savory Cocktail Cookies

Makes about 40 cookies

1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh goat cheese (chèvre)

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1 tablespoon minced lemon zest

1 teaspoon very finely minced fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper

1/4 cup salted butter, softened

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) chopped walnuts

Garnish: 2 tablespoons additional goat cheese

1. With an electric mixer, cream 1/2 cup cheese, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix in well. Add the flour and mix the dough for about 30 seconds. Add the nuts and mix until ingredients are just evenly combined.

2. Divide the dough in half and shape into logs, about 6 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, twisting the ends, to help firm the dough. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or in the freezer for about 30 minutes to further firm the dough. (The dough can be kept frozen for up to one month; remove from the freezer to temper overnight in the refrigerator before slicing.)

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees at least 20 minutes before baking.

4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray pans with cooking spray.

5. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Divide additional goat cheese, crumbled among cookie tops. Bake until lightly golden at the edges, about 14 to 16 minutes. Cool on the pan.

Copyright 2010 by Kathy Casey Food Studios® Liquid Kitchen™ (www.kathycasey.com)