Recipe: Spiced cheddar shortbread

Cheese biscuits

These are like cheese and biscuits but all in one mouthful. I am told they go wonderfully with red wine at the end of a meal (I can’t confirm this as I can’t stand red wine).

You can substitute any spices you like – go crazy! Although I have overdone the spice before to the point that they burnt your throat as you ate them – you’ve been warned. I’ve also tried them with a mix of cheddar and Parmesan which was delicious.

Makes about 20.

Ingredients

100g salted butter

100g plain flour

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

100g strong cheddar, grated

Method

Cream the butter.

Gradually work in the flour, spices and grated cheese and knead until it forms a smooth, sticky dough.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

You can either roll out to about 5mm thick and use a cutter to make the biscuits or, if you’re feeling lazy (which I always am), pinch off bits of dough, roll into a ball (about the size of a conker – seriously the only thing I could think of to compare it too) and flatten into biscuits with the palm of your hand. They do spread a little while baking so make sure to leave room. Prick with a fork a few times.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden around the edges. They won’t be quite cooked but they set as they cool.

Leave on the tray for a couple of minutes and then once set transfer to a wire rack.

They’ll keep for about five days in an airtight container.

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