Category Archives: cocktail

Thyme Shortbread Cocktail Cookies

I have a confession.  Although I bake a lot I don’t really have a sweet tooth.  Salt is what I crave, especially anything that combines sweet and salty flavors.   These savory thyme shortbread “cocktail cookies” fit the bill.  They dress up a cheese plate and will be a perfect New Year’s Eve nibble with a glass of bubbles. I packaged them up in pretty Christmas cookie boxes and gave them to holiday party hosts this year. I credit  legendary baker and cookbook author Dodie Greenspan for creating the term “cocktail cookies” for her latest book “Dorie’s Cookies.”

Thyme Shortbread Cocktail Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen

Thyme Shortbread Cocktail Cookies


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped, fresh thyme leaves


  1. Whisk flour, cornmeal and salt together in a small bowl.
  2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar.
  3. Add egg yolks and chopped thyme leaves.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix just until dough holds together.
  5. Roll dough into two logs about two inches in diameter. It will be a very crumbly, so you will have to shape them into logs with your hands. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill until firm, about an hour.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. When logs are chilled. Slice into 1/4 inch thick disks.
  8. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake until edges start to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch them carefully because they will bake quickly.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool on a wire rack.


You can substitute other chopped herbs for the thyme.


Black Velvet, the original Irish cocktail

Black velvet 004


This St. Patrick’s Day, if, like me, you have long outgrown crowded, rowdy bars serving Juvenile plastic cups of watery green beer, raise a glass to your Irish heritage with the original Irish cocktail.   I’m talking about Black Velvet, an elegant combination of Guinness or other stout beer with champagne, that was created in the late nineteenth century.  Like the little black dress, its sophistication lies in its simplicity.  It says that you know who you are and having nothing to prove.

The first time I drank Black Velvet was in rooms at midnight at Trinity Ball, the social event of the year at Trinity College Dublin.  I was also served the cocktail as an after dinner drink in Chicago at a party celebrating the birthday of Irish playwright Oscar Wilde.  To quote the great man “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”  I’ll drink to that. Slainte!

To make a Black Velvet, pour Guinness or other stout halfway up a champagne flute – tilt the glass toward you to preserve the creamy head of the beer – then fill the rest of the glass with chilled champagne.