Spiced Cheese and Sesame Shortbread

I’m on a mission to find the perfect shortbread this Christmas, and while these aren’t traditional, they’re very more-ish and perfect with a drink…or at any time, really.

The recipe is a simple one: 100g each of flour, butter and cheese, toss in a few spices and pulse it in the food processor. Sure you then need to pop the dough in the fridge for a bit to chill before baking, but that’s time you can use to get on with other things. And at this time of the year finding time to get on with other things is a real treat.

What you need

  • 100g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • a good grating of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 50g grated cheddar cheese
  • 50g grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

You’ll also need a large baking sheet, lined

What you do with it

Put all the ingredients (other than the sesame seeds) into a food processor and pulse until it comes together to form a dough.

Scoop it out onto some baking paper and form it into a log shape, the diameter the size you want your biscuits. I prefer smaller bite-sized biscuits.

Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and roll the log through them until it’s coated with the seeds. Wrap in the baking paper and chill in the fridge for an hour. (If you want, you can freeze it for later at this point).

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan).

Remove the log from the fridge and cut it into slices about 8mm thick. Arrange on the baking tray, leaving about 2cm between each biscuit, and cook for 10-12 minutes or until golden. If you want to serve these warm with drinks, grate over a sprinkling of fresh parmesan, otherwise allow them to cool and crisp up.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

6 thoughts

  1. As you know these tempted me to make something similar. I googled a recipe though and went with the most simple – basically equal amounts of flour, butter and parmesan. I halved it cos I wasn’t sure how gluten-free flour would go.

    I assume I had too much butter perhaps but also I didn’t ‘blend’ it in accordance with the recipe (or the alternative was rubbing the butter into the flour and well… ugh!).

    They were nice but a bit bland so perhaps the extra spices you’ve got here would do the trick.


    1. I make a recipe where it’s an all in the processor, so it should have been okay. I’d say you either had too much butter or you over mixed it or didn’t give it time in the fridge to chill back up – that can cause spreading.


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