It’s always good at this time of year to have a ready supply of little snacks for any visitors that appear. I make these from any leftover shortcrust pastry from other dishes during November and December and freeze them until I need them. You can always pop them in the oven straight from the freezer to heat them up if your visitors are particularly unexpected! I’ve added cheese so that they have a little salty tang which is always good with a bit of Christmas fizz.
My shortcrust pastry standby recipe – I haven’t got a clue how many Christmas shapes this would actually make as I always use leftovers from other recipes.
You will need: 250g plain flour, 125g chilled butter, 40-60ml of chilled water, pinch of salt and 150g grated strong mature cheddar cheese.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and, using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and then gradually add the water, cutting together with a flat-bladed knife. Add the water until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap the ball of pastry dough in cling-film and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F and grease and line baking trays with baking paper. Roll out the dough and cut using Christmas themed pastry cutters. Place the biscuits on the baking trays and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.
You will probably need to bake the biscuits in batches.