Recipe – Shortcrust Cookies


I hate wasting pastry offcuts, so when I make a tart or pie I use the remaining pastry for these tasty little shortcrust cookies. Unlike puff pastry, shortcrust can be rerolled without ill effect, so all of it can be used. If you’re using Carême pastry and store the offcuts in the fridge for more than 24 hours, it may develop some black flecks – this is harmless oxidation (not mould) and disappears when cooked.

Ingredients
  • Shortcrust pastry off-cuts
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)
  • Cumin seeds, for sprinkling
  • Salt flakes, for sprinkling
  • Hard cheese such as Comte, Gruyere or cheddar, for grating
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Roll pastry out slightly on a lightly flour-dusted surface.
  3. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out discs, placing them on a baking paper-lined oven tray.
  4. Press remaining pastry together, roll it out again and cut out more discs.
  5. If you have a spare egg yolk, beat it lightly with a fork and paint it onto the pastry; this step isn’t essential, but gives a good colour to the finished cookies.
  6. Combine equal quantities of cumin seeds and salt and sprinkle over half the pastry discs.
  7. Grate cheese finely and top each of the remaining discs.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until well-coloured.
  9. Set aside to cool then serve with aperitif.

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