It must be Christmas soon. Walk past any eatery at lunchtime and you’ll witness the depressing sight of work colleagues sitting around tables self-consciously wearing party hats…having fun. Not having to suffer this annual humiliation is one of the benefits of being freelance. Speaking of Christmas, this year I’ve decided to make, or rather bake, many of my presents. These cheesey biscuits would make a welcome addition to anyone’s festive sack.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Makes: 18 biscuits
- plain flour – 100g
- unsalted butter – 1oog – very cold, cut into chunks
- cheddar – 50g – grated
- parmesan – 50g – grated, plus extra for sprinkling
- mustard powder – 1/2tsp
- 1 egg – beaten
- cayenne pepper – pinch
- salt – pinch
Place the flour, butter, cheeses, cayenne pepper, mustard powder and salt in a food processor and pulse until a dough has formed. Tip out onto a floured surface and roll into a log shape about 4-5 cm in diameter. Flatten off the ends. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for at least half an hour to chill.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C (gas mark 4).
Remove the dough from the fridge and slice into 5mm thick disks. This is made easier if you use a sharp knife dipped into boiling water. Place the disks onto a buttered baking tray, brush with egg and sprinkle with a little grated parmesan. The biscuits will spread during cooking so make sure they are 2cm apart. Cook for 10 minutes. You may have to do this in 2 batches. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Verdict: You’ll not get anything like these in the shops. They smell great and taste even better. There again, they are essentially just cheese and butter, so they can’t fail to be delicious.
Drink: These were made on a Sunday morning, so tea and coffee.
Entertainment: X-Ray Spex, ‘Germ Free Adolescents’ – a recent nostalgia purchase to replace the original vinyl version which was stupidly thrown away. “The X-rays were penetrating through the laytex breeze. Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves fell from the rayon trees”.