entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: leah verwey’s savory cookies

by Kristina Gill

Sometimes the recipes that appear on the In the Kitchen With column spend months in incubation, years in some cases, waiting to debut. Many factors contribute to this: the author’s schedule, recipe testing, getting the photography right, seasonality, previously scheduled posts. You name it, it’s a factor. I have never been disappointed, though, when the post finally comes together and is ready to go live. Portland, Oregon-based photographer Leah Verwey’s recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Cookies is one of those recipes that suffered from one primary “flaw”: the cookies were so good, Leah kept eating them before she could get enough images of them done. We can only suggest that you make a double batch so that you don’t run out too quickly! These are perfect for this time of year. If anyone tries this out as a gluten-free recipe, please share your modifications! — Kristina

About Leah: Leah Verwey is a photographer and design enthusiast based in Portland, Oregon. She primarily photographs weddings and food, but also loves invading homes, offices and work areas as documented in her blog Space. After finishing school in upstate New York, she ventured to Portland “for a few months” and, years later, has yet to leave. Her dog Tallulah is (she thinks) so smart that she has to be either part-human or part-dolphin.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!

Cheddar Jalapeno Cookies


  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8-ounce block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos*, patted dry


1. In a mixer or food processor, combine butter, salt and pepper until thoroughly blended. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and cheddar. Slowly add flour and cheese until dough clears the sides of mixer. Don’t over-mix. Then fold in jalapenos.

2. Next, shape the dough into a disc, wrap in parchment or wax paper and chill for about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350°.

4. On a floured surface, roll out dough until it is about a 1/2″ thick. Using about a 2″ circular cookie cutter or a trusty glass (I use a clear little glass mug — it seems to be the best size), cut out circles and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in the center of the oven for about 13 minutes or until cookies are golden on top. Enjoy!

Let’s be frank, cheese-and-butter cookies aren’t exactly the most heart healthy, so I paired these with some nice, fresh baby greens from the garden, lightly dressed with olive oil and rice vinegar. They’d also make a great appetizer for a little get-together.

*Not into spicy jalapenos? Substitute pimento for a not-so-spicy treat.

Why Leah Chose This Recipe
When I was a kid, my mother used to make cheese cookies with green olives around the holidays, and it was such a great break when you are overwhelmed with tons of sweets (a kid overwhelmed with sweets? Say what?). This year, I was so not into sweets again and just wanted savory around the holidays, so I tested out some options. While I was testing my first batch, I happened to have some friends over and we devoured them in probably less than an hour. Go us. Since then, I’ve made them for parties or just to have for little snacks throughout the day, and they are always a hit. I just love the idea of a savory cookie.

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