Makes about 36 | prep 15 mins | total time
- 125g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
- a good pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp light brown soft sugar
- 100g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 25g freshly grated Parmesan
- 100g crumbled Stilton, chilled
- 3 tbsp poppy seeds, nigella seeds or sesame seeds
The biscuits will keep for 3 days stored in an airtight container, and can also be frozen
- Put the flour, cayenne pepper and sugar in a food processor with a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper and whiz to blend together. Add the butter and process until thoroughly mixed in.
- Add the Parmesan and Stilton and whiz again until the mixture forms a dough. Tip on to a lightly floured work surface and form into a log shape, about 4cm in diameter. Spoon the seeds on to a sheet of nonstick baking paper, then roll the log of dough in the seeds to coat the outside, pressing well as you roll, so that the seeds stick and cover the dough. Wrap the dough log in the nonstick baking paper (you might find it easier to cut the log in half first and coat and wrap each half separately, especially if you're using different seeds), then chill for at least 2 hours – or about 30 minutes in the freezer.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Line 1 or 2 baking trays with nonstick baking paper. Slice 4-5mm-thick biscuits off the log and lay on the lined trays, leaving room for them to spread out. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool for a minute or so, then transfer to a cooling rack with a palette knife to finish cooling.
Tip They taste delicious served with a sliver of Stilton and a dab of onion chutney. Or eat them plain with a dry, dry sherry, some olives and a few salted almonds dusted with smoked paprika. You can make them bigger to accompany a cheeseboard if you like. They also make a lovely gift packaged in an airtight containerin a gift bag tied with ribbon.
Be warned, these biscuits are completely addictive – I defy anyone to stop at just one. If you try one before your guests arrive, there may not be any left.