Warning: if you’re looking for an indulgent cookie recipe, or “something-kids-will -love” then this is not it! But if you want a savoury snack that you can have relatively guilt-free, and serve up to friends with some chutney, cheese and a good cup of tea, then step right up!
This right here is my very first experiment with spelt flour. I’ve been wanting to try spelt for a long time now, and thought I’d start off with something small and simple. And so I put together this recipe, using other “nut and cheese” biscuit recipes as a start off point.
I’ve combined plain flour with spelt flour here. And the result? It’s a very soft biscuit, not crumbly. It’s savoury, not sweet, with most of the flavour hits coming from the cheese (I used Lancashire). The walnuts also give it a really nice texture. Overall, I enjoyed these with a thin slice of cheddar and a dollop of mango chutney on top, but my neighbours thought they were lovely as they are as well!
You don’t have to use Lancashire cheese if you don’t want to. In fact, blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola are particularly popular in savoury biscuit recipes. However, I really don’t like blue cheeses (*shock*), so I went for a crumbly cheese. Similar to Lancashire cheese, I imagine Wensleydale would go nicely too.
Grated hard cheese would also work well, such as Parmesan or even mature Cheddar. If you try a different cheese, do let me know how the biscuits turn out!
Note for diabetic readers:
If you are diabetic, I think these make a great snack as they are very low in sugar; to make them even healthier, you could substitute the plain flour for spelt flour too. Spelt has a low glycemic index — just one of the many reasons it’s hailed as a healthy and diabetic-friendly food!
Do you use spelt flour in your cooking? I would love some ideas, so please leave a comment below and let me know how you use it!
Ingredients (makes approximately 20 biscuits)
75g plain flour
75g wholemeal spelt flour
60g butter, cubed
1tsp baking powder
1tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
75g walnuts, chopped
60g Lancashire cheese, grated
2tbsp sunflower oil
TIP: use a food processor to chop the walnuts. It’s much quicker than doing it by hand, and you get them all evenly and finely chopped.
Combine both flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Use a fork or whisk to mix everything together evenly. Then add the cubes of butter, and use your fingertips to rub it into the flour, till you end up with a breadcrumb-like mixture.
Add the cheese and walnuts and mix everything together well. Now, make a well in the middle and add the oil and water. Use a knife to mix the dry with the wet, scraping everything in from the sides as you go. Pick the the dough up with your hands and shape into a ball.
Cut out two large pieces of parchment (wax) paper and place the dough in between them. Then roll it out. You want it to be quite thin, but not too thin. Don’t be tempted to roll it out without the paper; it will simply stick to your counter and be impossible to get off (yes, speaking from experience!)
Leave the dough in the fridge for at least an hour. When you’re ready to bake, start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Use a cookie cutter to cut out your biscuits and place them on a lightly greased baking tray (or reuse one of the parchment sheets from earlier).
Bake for 10 minutes, then allow too cool before eating.
TIP: No-one should be put off baking just because they don’t have a particular utensil to hand. Be creative! I used a bottle cap from one of Baby K’s milk bottles as a makeshift cookie cutter!