Flaky Gruyere Shortbread

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Fridays, for me, are synonymous with a 5pm glass of wine and snacks. All day I watch the clock and count the minutes until I can get home, relax and have a glass of wine with crispy snacks. Usually that’s chips. Because they are easy and I’m tired at the end of the week. But way, way better than chips (and that’s saying quite a lot because I have a chip PROBLEM) are these flaky, Gruyere shortbread biscuits. Cheesy and delicious, you can leave the mixture rolled up in a log in the freezer, and cut slices off as you need them. So they are always ready and waiting if someone pops round for a drink or you need something crunchy to go with soup. Or just a good partner for a glass of wine.

Flaky Gruyere Shortbread

 – adapted from Martha Stewart
2 cups flour
2 cups finely grated Gruyere
250g butter
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt, to taste
*makes about 40 pieces

Process the flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture is the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add the grated Gruyere and process well, until the mixture starts to come together. Add two pinches of salt and the Worcestershire sauce and process until a dough starts to form. Tip the mixture into a bowl or onto a big board and knead it together until you have a smooth, uniform dough. Divide it in half and roll each section into a log about 3-4cm in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in baking paper, twisting the ends to close, and freeze. When you want some beautiful, crispy cheese shortbread, remove one/two logs from the freezer. Let them sit on the counter for 10min, then slice into 1cm thick rounds with a heavy knife, and arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Let them cool completely on a wire rack and then wolf them down with a crisp, dry white wine.

Note: Cut a little thinner (maybe 5mm?) and baked a little quicker (10min?) these shortbread biscuits could be topped with Parma ham & cream cheese and served as a super-delicious canapé. I will test this out soon!

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