I wanted these to be cheese straws but after making the pastry it was too delicate to twist into a long shape. So they became cheese snacky, biscuit things.
They taste amazing!
I have had a bee in bonnet lately around using our smoked red bell pepper (from The Smoking Shed) in baked products. I tried it out in a bread dough to make a flat bread with roast beetroot, zucchini and goats cheese and it worked out really well and knew that it would shine with cheese and had been pondering a cheese straw.
So there I was at my sisters birthday picnic last Saturday at Kirstenbosch and a bowl of the most delicious ‘cheese straw / biscuit’ things was passed around. Made by my brother in law’s mother Maude, who is German, and a very talented baker.
I literally had to ask my cousin to take them away from me, because they were so moreish I could have wiped out the bowl, and I had a big dinner to go to that night.
I asked Maude how to make them and was delighted at how incredibly easy her recipe is.
Its literally equal weight flour, butter and cheese and you can make however little or much you deisre. I used 250gms each which made 2 big trays.
How to make:
- pre heat the oven to 180 C (350 F)
- weigh out all the ingredients accordingly using rooom temp butter. I used cheddar, but you could use a combination of cheddar and paremsan or any nice flavourful cheese (gruyere would be nice)
- I added 2 Tbs of The Smoing Shed smoked red pepper sprinkle (you could leave this out or add other spices)
- Mix all the ingredients together by hand until a soft dough is formed
- wrap the dough in cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour or so to cool down and firm up
- using a lot of flour, divide the dough into small batches and roll out to about 0.5 cm thick
- Its delicate and breaks easily due to the high cheese and butter content
- lightly brush the pastry with a beaten egg and sprinkle over sea salt flakes. I ground over some smoked salt. Maude uses cumin seeds, and if you are not using the smoked red pepper, rosemary would be nice
- cut the pastry into the shapes you desire using a cookie cutter or a knife or a pizza slicer
- place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or silicone sheets and bake for about 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown
These are perfect snacks to serve exactly as is with drinks.
I have played around with a few other savoury biscuit recipes: