Sue’s Parmesan Shortbread

The “Sue” in question is my sister-in-law who lives in Devon and who stayed with me for a week recently. At about 6-30pm we would sit outside in the sunshine and have a drink with some of these before having our evening meal. She couldn’t believe they were so easy to make, and that I kept a roll of the unbaked dough in the fridge ready to slice off and bake when the fancy took me.  (My record for keeping the dough in fridge is a week as I have baked and eaten it by then!)

I started making these after reading Simon Hopkinson’s recipe (what a brilliant cook – taste not fashion driven I would thoroughly recommend any of his recipe books) I vary the toppings (SH does thin slices of chilli and others plain from the same batch)  from fennel seeds (as pictured here) to nigella seeds, cumin seeds or even just extra Parmesan.  You can add whatever different toppings you fancy.  Dukkah is nice or even chopped black olives

The shortbreads are particularly good with white wine or champagne (though that could be because I love those!)  They also are delicious with a G&T or a cocktail

Anyway Sue so liked these she asked me for the recipe so here it is.

Ingredients (makes about 20 biscuits)

  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, straight from fridge, diced
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 50g grated mature cheddar or gruyere
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard powder
  • beaten egg to glaze
  • Sprinkles of choice (I used fennel seeds)


  1. Put cheeses, flour, mustard powder and butter in  food processor
  2. Pulse together until combined and then, holding your nerve, turn setting to full on until mixture comes together in a ball.   I promise it will as the fats from cheese and butter will hold it together
  3. Turn mixture out onto work surface and roll into a round cylinder shape about the diameter of when you put tip of index finger to tip of thumb. Wrap up in cling film and put into fridge.  Leave at least 30 mins to firm but up to a week
  4. When ready to bake turn oven on to 180c.
  5. Cut however many biscuits you want from roll into discs about the thickness of a pound coin.
  6. Put onto a baking sheet, spaced widely apart to allow for spreading, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle over the topping of your choice
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden
  8. Allow to cool on a rack so biscuits crisp up.



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