Manchego, Almond & Pink Pepper Biscuits

Growing up my Elderly Neighbour was my surrogate Granny. You see, I lost my Granny when I was 3 and my other one, well, let’s just say there was no love lost….


So, Alison filled that role, an artist so full of love but also called a spade a spade, my kind of lady. Winter days were made all the better with visits, my mum’s hand firmly squeezed my bemittened fingers in the chill dusk air, to the glow of Alison’s log fire. The musty scent of overcooked broccoli mixed with Fray Bentos Pie still wafting through the kitchen…


That’s where we sat, her little Westie Dog on my lap, sipping the tiniest thimble of sherry and munching on Cheesy Biscuits, the little ones that came in all the shapes of the suits in a deck of cards……. That was what happiness was about.


So, now Alison has passed, probably painting fields of wildflowers somewhere, these little biscuits take me back to that time….


The Method is using a food processor, they can also be made by pulsing in a blender or, by hand, rubbing the butter in with your fingers and mixing the yolk through with a knife.

Ingredients:


3 tbsp Toasted Almonds

2 tbsp Pink Peppercorns

90g Manchego Cheese, chopped into rough chunks

150g Plain Flour

100g Unsalted Butter, fridge cold

¼ tsp Salt

1 egg Yolk


Method:


1. Begin a couple of hours before you want the biscuits as they need time to chill. Pop the Almonds and 1 tbsp Pink Peppercorns in a food processor and pulse to break down to a rough crumb. Turn onto a flat tray and set aside.

2. Without washing the processor, add the cheese and pulse to break down into small nuggets. Add the flour, butter, salt and remaining 1 tbsp Pink Peppercorns and pulse again until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

3. Add the egg yolk and pulse one more time, just until the mixture comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and gently bring together into a ball. Weigh the ball and divide equally into two.

4. Roll each half into a short, squat sausage, about 2.5cm in diameter. Roll in the Almond mixture to coat the outside.

5. Set on a tray and chill for 2 hours to firm up.

6. Meanwhile, preheat oven 170C Fan. Cut the logs into 8mm slices and lay each one spaced apart on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper.

7. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until very pale golden. Allow to firm up for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

8. Eat in a room scented with overcooked broccoli….