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Drinks are always better with nibbles. Over the Bank Holiday weekend as we had such beautiful weather we had two little nibbles-and-rose wine sessions. For one of them I made my Mum’s famous recipe for Classic Cheese Straws. For the other I made some Savoury Rosemary & Parmesan Shortbread, flavoured with the end of a piece of parmesan I found in the fridge and fresh rosemary from the garden.
I started making these last summer, and I’m happy to reprise them again this year!
As far as difficulty is concerned, I’d put them firmly for experienced biscuit makers; the mixture is very short (which means crumbly) so it is very difficult to work with. However, if you want to give them ago and you’re not frightened of a very cheesy pastry like this, they’re beautifully light and very addictive.
If you’re looking something else to try first in the cheesy-pastry-things-to-go-with-drinks category, as well as those Classic Cheese Straws I mentioned (which are the perfect training wheels for this recipe, by the way, as it’s a similar mixture but cheddar cheese which has more structure than parmesan, and the addition of an egg yolk makes the mixture much easier to work with!) do check out my 5-ingredient Crystallised Ginger Cheese Straws, which are made with pre-made puff pastry, so are more of an assembly job more than anything else, or my Parmesan & Paprika Cocktail Stars, which are even easier still!
A delicious, light savoury shortbread flavoured with parmesan and fresh rosemary – perfect for drinks parties and at home happy hours!
2 tbsp fresh rosemary needles
160g (6 oz) plain (all purpose flour)
75g (2.5 oz) parmesan, finely grated
110g (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Finely chop the rosemary needles and set aside. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until you get a sandy consistency.
Bring the dough together into a ball and wrap in kitchen wrap before chilling for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out to roughly 1/2 cm thickness before cutting out circles with a cookie cutter. Bring the scraps together into a ball and roll them out again – trying to work the dough as little as possible to keep the shortbread nice and light – to get as many shortbread as possible.
Bake the shortbread for 8-10 minutes until just golden. Leave them to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
I use one size cookie cutter smaller than standard – if yours is larger, you may get less than 35 biscuits in your batch. Regardless, they happily serve up to 4 people with drinks.
Don’t chill the dough for more than 30 minutes or it will become too hard to roll out!
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