Cheddar & Thyme Cookies

6 oz. (2 cups, lightly packed) sharp cheddar cheese (not pre-shredded)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 tsp. ground black pepper, preferably coarse grind

1 1/2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves OR 1 slightly rounded teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Shred the cheddar cheese using large holes on grater.  Place all ingredients in bowl of mixer and blend on low speed for 1 minute.  Increase speed to medium and continue to blend until all ingredients come together in a ball.

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a log about 8 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. If you prefer larger or smaller cookies, shape your dough logs accordingly.  Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to bake, unwrap dough and slice into 1/4 inch thick discs.  Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake at 350F.  For soft cookies, bake for 10 – 12 minutes.  For crisper cookies, bake for 15 – 20 minutes.  Let cookies cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container for up to 4 days or wrap in freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month.

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