If you’ve been hanging around the food blogging world since the early days, you are likely familiar with Dorie Greenspan. If you aren’t, let me suggest that you make yourself familiar with the wondrous Dorie at your earliest convenience. To me, Dorie is precisely what we all hope to find in a cookbook or blog author. She has great taste and writes perfect reliable recipes while presenting them in a voice that feels like she has been your dear friend for ages. I can count on zero fingers the number of Dorie recipes I have tried that I have not liked at all.

When I saw her most recent cookbooks, Dorie’s Cookies, I’ll admit I was not all that enthused. An entire book about of cookies? Some “blogs” go that route, but it’s the same base recipe with a million different mix ins and allll the sponsored content. Pass. Given that this was Dorie though, I had a hunch it would be worth investigating. Indeed, Dorie understood my hesitation. In her introduction, she addresses this very notion when she says, “With this book, I wanted to get a fresh look at cookies, to see what they could be when, along with butter, sugar, eggs and flour, I added curiosity. I wanted to see if the cookies could stretch with me.” These lines piqued my interest. My interest held through the initial browsing and was thoroughly solidified when I came across the chapter “Cocktail Cookies”, as in, cookies to enjoy with cocktails.

As soon as I came across this section, I was SOLD. I was bookmarking recipes left and right. When my darling Josie came to visit for Thanksgiving, it seemed the perfect opportunity to try some of them out. I made five (!) varieties and that was the least I could manage. Each and every one I have tried so far has been wonderful, but these smoky cheesy cookies stood out as my personal favorite. They are simultaneously like and yet nothing like Cheez-Its.  Call them crackers, call them cookies, call them perfection as Chandler surely would. Whatever you call them, do make them. They are the perfect addition to any appetizer spread and if you are attending any holiday parties, I highly recommend you bring some of these along. Trust me!

  • Yield about 40-50 cookies


  • 8 tbsp. (4 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
  • 4 oz. (113 grams) cold smoked gouda, cut into tiny cubes
  • 2 oz. (57 grams) sharp cheddar, shredded
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1¼ cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour


  • 01

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, gouda, cheddar, salt, pepper and cayenne. Pulse until the mixture forms small curds. Add the flour and pulse again with long pulses, until the dough is moist and forms larger curds. Turn the dough out of the bowl and knead gently, just to form a ball. Divide into equal halves.

  • 02

    Place one half of the dough between two pieces of parchment. Roll to a thickness of ¼-inch. Slide onto a baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour. Repeat with the second portion of dough. (At this point, the rolled out dough can be sealed in a freezer safe bag and frozen for up to 2 months.)

  • 03

    When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Peel away the parchment from the rolled out dough. Use a 1½-inch round cutter to cut out rounds of dough. (Alternatively, just use a pizza/pastry rolling cutter.) Transfer the dough pieces to the prepared pans. Bake 16-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking, until the tops are light golden. Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.