chocolate mince pies. They disappeared quickly. A gingerbread house sits on our kitchen table. We have been eating loads of cherries and drinking Crabbies ginger beer. And I have made some gifts in the kitchen.
I was volunteering at a Christmas lunch the other day and wanted to bring a plate along. Time was tight. It had to be quick. I stumbled across these cheese and walnut shortbreads in my bookmarks. They were quick and easy. And tasted great. Crisp, cheesey and melt in the mouth sort of shortbread. They are quite different to Nigella's cheese stars (like these) that I love but are best in the first day or two and less buttery.
In the above photos I put my little champagne cork angel when it was work in progress. I later glued on a glittery gold pipe cleaner halo and a ribbon around the neck. It was then returned to the friend who had brought over a bottle of champagne.
What do you Wish for? by Jane Godwin with beautiful illustrations by Anna Walker. Every time I read it, the hair stands up on the back of my neck because it is so sweet. I was given some gift tags when I bought it. They finished off the packs of shortbread stars nicely for teacher gifts.
I am sending these to Caroline (and Ros) for Alphabakes (N for Nuts).
More savoury biscuits or crackers on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chickpea crackers (gf, v)
Polenta parmesan thyme crackers (gf)
Spinach crackers with French lavender salt (v)
Tofu and pesto crackers (v)
Cheese and Walnut Shortbreads
Adapted from Margaret Fulton's Christmas via Laws of the Kitchen
Makes about 72
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
185g cold butter, chopped into 1cm cubes (I used mostly margarine)
1 1/2 cups finely grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Mix the flour, smoked paprika and salt in the food processor. Add butter, cheeses and walnuts. Process until it forms a ball of dough. Briefly knead on a lightly floured surface until you have a smooth ball.
At this stage it is best to wrap in clingfilm and refridgerate for at least an hour. I halved the dough and used half straight away which was fine and left the other half in the fridge for a day.
Preheat oven to 180 C and line a few oven trays with baking paper. Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 2-3mm thick. Cut into stars or the shapes you desire. Transfer to prepared oven trays leaving about 1-2cm between each shape. Repeat with any leftover scraps of dough then continue to cut out shapes with second half of dough.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. (They don't take on a lot of colour so just watch that the edges aren't getting too brown.) Cool on wire rack. They keep well for at least 4 days in an airtight container. (That is as many days as we kept them)
On the Stereo:
Christmas in the Heart: Bob Dylan
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