Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Mini Cheddar Bites - great for snacking

June this year is a great month for sports fans - the sports I like to watch that is. The French tennis open is on at the minute (with Andy Murray through to the quarter finals so far), the football World Cup will kick off in Rio on 12 June and then the Wimbledon tennis tournament will start on 23 June. Fantastic!.

In our house this will no doubt mean the usual shouts of encouragement being hurled at our TV (along with lots of other expletives that I really couldn't repeat here) in the belief that it'll somehow make a difference to the performance of the players. Not to mention the utter devastation when England inevitably get knocked out of the World Cup by Germany on penalties again! I am a realist though - England haven't won the World Cup since 1966 and are not likely to this year so I'm going to try to enjoy it and not get too carried away. I am rooting for Andy at Wimbledon though - it would be great if he could win two years in a row :-)

Lots of sport also usually means lots of eating, drinking and snacking in front of the TV so I thought I'd share this recipe for mini cheddar bites. Incredibly cheesy, a little bit chewy and a touch spicy, they're perfect to have with a glass of beer or wine while cheering your team (or player) on.

Mini Cheddar Bites with Chives and Cayenne

Notes: This recipe was inspired by one of my favourite blogs Ms Marmite Lover although I have adjusted the recipe slightly with the inclusion of Cheddar Cheese, Chives and Cayenne Pepper. I have also used olive oil in place of butter. Feel free to try different cheeses in this - I think Parmesan would be lovely too. Also, omit the Cayenne if you're not keen on spice. If you don't have a small cutter, just use a shot glass. I found that part of my icing set fitted the bill!

Makes approx 50 small 2.5cm biscuits.

200g grated cheddar cheese
100g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp chopped chives or ½ tsp dried chives
40ml olive oil
1-2 tbsp milk or water

1. Put the cheese, flour, salt, cayenne and chives into the bowl of a food processor with a chopping blade. Whizz for a few seconds until well blended.

2. Add the oil and blend for a few seconds more until it is well combined.

3. Add the milk or water 1 tbsp at a time and blend until the dough forms a lump. Turn out onto a floured board, wrap in cling film and chill for half an hour.

4. When the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured board and with a floured rolling pin until it is approx ¼cm thick and use a cutter (see notes above) to cut small circles out of the dough.

5. Place the dough circles on a baking tray covered with greaseproof or parchment paper. Prick them all over with a fork and then cook in a pre-heated oven 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 for 12-15 minutes until golden. I found it useful to turn the tray around half way through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.

6. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

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