Cheese Biscuits (Cookies)
Yields about 58 biscuits
There are few moments in baking when American vs British terms become more stark for me than when I am writing up a recipe and need to decide whether to call it a biscuit or a cookie. These cheesy bites of deliciousness are biscuits in the British sense of the word. I kind of want to call them cheese shortbreads but feel they aren’t quite ‘short’ (crumbly!) enough for that. We enjoy these for easy lunchbox or morning and afternoon tea snacks, although they’d also be quite at home on a cheese board or used as a base for an appetiser. These little biscuits keep fine in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days and can be frozen and defrosted for later use.
What you need:
1 ½ cups of brown rice flour
1 ½ cups of tapioca starch
1 dessertspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt (adjust to taste, particularly if your butter is unsalted)
2 cups of grated hard cheese (I use Edam as that is what my family most likes but any hard cheese, such as cheddar or Colby will be fine)
½ cup of room-temperature butter, cut into cubes
What to do:
1. Turn the oven on to 180°C to preheat and line a couple of flat baking trays with baking paper.
2. Place the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, salt and cheese in a large bowl together with the cubed butter and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. I usually do this with the K-beater on my stand mixer.
3. Add the eggs to the bowl and mix thoroughly into the mixture already in the bowl to create a biscuit dough. You may need to use your hands to incorporate all the bits towards the end – this is quite a crumbly dough!
4. Remove about a quarter of the biscuit dough from the bowl and roll out between two pieces of baking paper until the dough is about ½ centimetre thick. Cut out circles of dough (I used a cutter with a diameter of 5.5 centimetres). Continue cutting out circles of dough (rerolling unused dough and adding dough from the bowl) until all the dough has been divided into circles.
5. Carefully place the circles of dough on the lined baking trays, leaving about 2 centimetres between each circle.
6. Bake the biscuits in the middle of the preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until done. If you would like biscuits with more of a golden brown colour, leave them in for a few extra minutes, but do keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t darken too much or burn. I tend to fill one tray with biscuits as I cut them out and then put that in the oven to bake while I cut out the biscuits for the next tray.
7. Once the biscuits are baked, remove them from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for 5 to 10 minutes before carefully removing them to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
8. Store in an airtight container or freeze until required.