Look what Santa’s got in his sleigh! It wouldn’t be a party in our house without these biscuits. They are perfect with a glass of white wine (or two) and just the thing for any Christmas do. I make a batch whenever we are entertaining, be it a grown-up party or a kids’ one – they are universally adored.
They are deliciously cheesy and savoury, and the semolina lends them a fine crisp texture and extra bite. They are so easy to make, that once you’ve got your ingredients together all you really need to be capable of doing is pressing the button on your food processor. Ta da!
Warning – they are melt-in-the-mouth delicious and very moreish.
Makes about 30–40 biscuits
100g butter, very soft
85g self-raising flour
75g parmesan, grated
A good pinch of dry mustard powder
Salt and pepper
Pistachio nuts to top them with
What to do
- Preheat oven to 180˚C (160˚C Fan).
- Use the grater function on your food processor to grate the parmesan (takes seconds). Add the rest of the ingredients, except the nuts, to the food processor. Work together until combined to a soft dough.
- Remove the dough, and roll into a big ball. Roll the dough into small balls about 3–4cm in diameter and flatten each ball between the palms of your hands. (They are quite rich, so I usually make them smaller rather than larger.) Lay each biscuit on a greased baking tray.
- Top each biscuit with a pistachio nut. Walnut pieces, peanuts pinenuts and poppy seeds work really well, too.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for approx. 12 minutes until pale golden brown. Keep an eye on them – you don’t want them to burn. Cool on a wire rack and serve cold. Try not to eat the lot before your guests arrive.
Preparing ahead: they freeze brilliantly, just defrost them – you don’t even need to reheat them or anything. They can also be made up to a week in advance and kept in airtight container. Alternatively, make the dough in advance, freeze it, defrost it overnight in the fridge and make them when it suits you.