Monday, 11 March 2013

Parmesan, Walnut, and Basil Shortbread Nibbles

 These are extremely tasty little morsels to serve as an aperitif, to have with cheese, or to simply snack on as the fancy takes you!   The recipe makes approx 30  rounds, depending on how liberal you are with the slicing!  However, you can freeze the unbaked rounds if you feel there are too many to bake and eat at one time.  The keeping quality of these will be like other shortbread biscuits , in that the closer they are to the day they were baked, the better they will taste.  Alternatively, the unsliced and unbaked dough  will keep in the fridge (wrapped in cling film) for up to 3 days.

You will need:

  • 150 g of plain flour
  • 75 g of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 100 g of unsalted butter (softened)
  • I egg yolk
  • a couple of grinds of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 4-5 walnut halves, finely (but not too finely) chopped

1.  Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl, and stir with a wooden spoon until a clump of dough starts to form
2.  Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for a couple of minutes (not too much, less is more!)
3.  Using a knife, cut the dough into two halves, and work with one half at a time, roll with your hands into a cylindrical shape (approx 6 inches in length, and approx 2 inches diameter. Wrap the cylinder in cling film, twisting the ends nearest to the cylinder, to resemble a Christmas cracker, then put in fridge for approx 45 mins
4.  Repeat step 3 with remaining half of dough
5.  When the dough is ready to be baked, remove from fridge, heat oven to 180 C (Fan).
6.  Remove cling film from cylinder, if the ends are a bit rough, slice them off with a sharp knife, then slice the cylinder into roughly 1 cm rounds (I baked the end slices as I didn;t want to waste them)
7.  Place the sliced rounds onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment
8.  Put into oven for 15-20 mins, and remove (they should be no more than a pale gold colour at the edges) 

These have just emerged from the oven, and they smell divine, and taste wonderful (slightly warm)!

As you can see from the photo, a couple of biscuits have a crack running through them, they are holding together though after baking, but to avoid this in future, I would try not to fold the dough after turning out of bowl for the kneading process.  The dough clearly doesn't meld together too well and would rather stay in the position it is in when in the bowl.  But they're still delicious and perhaps look a little on the home-baked, rustic side which adds to their appeal in my humble opinion!!

p.s. they are extremely moreish!

No comments:

Post a Comment