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Tuesday, April 13, 2010
There are not many baking specialty stores in Singapore where we can go for our baking supplies. Most stock very mundane and uninteresting merchandise that fails to fulfill and excite avid bakers. As a result of which, shops like Shermay's which manage to move in to fill the gap in this need, quickly become popular. However, the lack of competition also means that we often have to pay hefty prices for e.g. that bottle of Nielsen Massey Vanilla extract or the covetable Microplane grater/graters (honestly the Ferrari of all graters) . Phoon Huat and Sun Lik are 2 shops which have served avid Singapore home bakers quite faithfully for a long time. They stock some of the less fancy merchandises and ingredients but have also started to offer some more interesting quality products e.g. Sun Lik actually stocks the basic range of Valrohna chocolates and french butter.
It was while I was browsing at Sun Lik last weekend that I came across some old fashioned kitchen tools for traditional treats. I loved the rickety Aluminum pancake press used to make Love Letters and I was strangely moved when I played with it... thinking to myself that surely I would have to get one of these before the art dies off.... I found myself picking up little knick knacks from the shelf and asking the lady at the counter, "what is this for?" ... This multiple joint cookie cutter was one of the gadgets I picked up for enquiry.
"Cheese Biscuits" - she said. Then, memory came flooding back - oh yes, I remember those short cheese crackers I used to eat. At that point, I was hooked and obsessed - I must try to make cheese biscuits with these. Ideally, I would like to make a Ritz cracker like biscuit with these cutter but I just couldn't find a recipe for Ritz Cracker - well if there is anyone out there who knows, please do share.
What I did find on Tastespotting is this equally tempting snack published by One Perfect Bite. Known as the Australian Buster, it is really a cheesy, buttery and flavourful cheese biscuit snack eaten e.g. with a salad.
I like it that you can play with it by using different types of cheese, herbs and spices. The combo is unlimited and I can attest that this will be a great crowd pleaser as a party snack.
Recipe From One Perfect Bite (Please see here for the original scrumptious snack)
8 tablespoons/ 113g butter, cut in 1/4-inch dice
2 cups/220g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, loosely packed (I used 2 cups of shredded Parmesan)
6 to 7 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I added some dried chives instead)
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set a side.
2) Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter. Rub butter into flour with tips of fingers until particles are very small. Still using your fingers, mix in the cheese. Stir in water and cayenne pepper with a fork. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch rounds and place on baking sheet. (I cut using my new cheese biscuit cutter) Collect and re-roll scraps as required. Prick each biscuit 10 times with times of a sharp fork. (As my sticks are small, I did not prick)
3) Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool. Yield: 16 biscuits.