These savoury little biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to Christmas apéritifs. For a saltier, fishy alternative, substitute the chilli here for anchovies – use a drained 25g tin.
- Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling or freezing
- Cooking time: 10 minutes to 14 minutes
- Total time: 30 - 34 minutes, plus cooling
1 large fresh red chilli
150g plain flour
140g parmesan, freshly grated
140g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
A pinch cayenne pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
- Char the skin of the red chilli over a flame, then put in a bowl under clingfilm to cool.
- When the chilli is cool, peel, seed and finely chop. Put the flour, Parmesan, butter and cayenne pepper in a food processor and pulse to crumbs. Then add the chilli (or anchovies, chopped, if using) and 1–2 tbsp cold water and pulse until the mixture just coheres.
- Remove and roll into two logs about 5cm wide.
- Brush each with beaten egg and roll each in a different type of seed, till coated evenly.
- Wrap in clingfilm and either chill for 30 minutes or freeze for up to 1 month.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Using a sharp knife, cut each chilled or frozen log into 16 biscuits 5mm-thick, to make 32 in total. Place them on 2 large, non-stick or greased baking trays, slightly spaced. Bake for 10–14 minutes (depending on whether you’re cooking from chilled or frozen), until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.