Although I’m rarely tempted by sweets (despite the amount of baking that I do), I have difficulty resisting cheese and biscuits. These days, however, cheese doesn’t like me as much as I like it – although that’s getting a tad into too much information territory.
It stands to reason then, that I’d have difficulty resisting these parmesan shortbreads. They have all the buttery yumminess of a proper shortbread, but with the sharpness of parmesan cheese. Cheese and biscuits in a biscuit. Now, that’s my idea of multi-tasking.
I first came across these little morsels in a Scottish recipe book some years ago. The recipe was super easy: 75g parmesan, 75g butter, 75g plain flour and a little salt to taste. Over the years I’ve found other versions that use extra butter and extra flour that, not only makes these go a little further but makes them shorter in texture. Nigella goes one step further and adds a single egg yolk. It adds a layer of richness that I think makes a good biscuit taste even better.
It’s, therefore, her recipe – from Nigellissima that I’ve made my own.
What you need…
- 150 grams plain flour
- 75 grams grated parmesan
- 100 grams soft unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
What you do with it…
- Throw it all into a food processor and blitz until it forms a dough clump.
- Knead the dough until smooth – this will only take about 30 seconds – and then divide into two.
- Roll each section into a cylinder with the diameter about as round as you want the biscuits to be. Try and keep the ends flat. Wrap it tightly in cling film and pop into the fridge for about 45 minutes. (You can do this a few days ahead and just slice the biscuits for baking when you’re ready.)
- Use your fridge time to heat the oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.
- When you’re ready to cook, slice the dough into thick-ish rounds – about 1cm thick – and pop onto the tray and into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until light gold.
- Cool on a wire tray.
These biscuits go really well with drinks. Santa likes to nibble on them with a decent whisky in his hand…coincidentally, so do I. I’m also rather partial to them with champagne…or without champagne…