Thursday, 31 October 2013

Fiendish Three Cheese Halloween Bites

halloween cheese bites
I know I said that there was unlikely to be a recipe for today but I found some inspiration and did a bit of out of character baking. I made nibbles, really yummy cheesy Halloween nibbles.

I intended to do something savoury rather than sweet and I'd made Cheese Straws before so it seemed like a good use for my cookie cutters. I went with a completely new recipe for these, three cheeses, all with nutty, fruity flavours that would compliment each other perfectly.

But first I had to make that decision.

Yeah, I'm A Fan Of Cheese
I'll let you into a little secret; I've never used a cookie cutter before today, how mad is that? I've never been big on baking, certainly not sweet things anyway. I once attempted a chocolate heart cake for my beloved one Valentines day, no recipe followed as per usual. It could have been classed as a large biscuit, though not one you would ever dream of eating.

Having a mum who hates to cook left my childhood bare of baking - except for the odd Fairy Cake - but today  I have had the most ridiculous amount of fun playing with cookie cutters in the shape of all things Halloweeny. I've been missing out guys and Cheese Straws are off the menu now, from this moment on I shall only be making Cheese Bites in some shape or another. Read some as Halloweeny for sure.

These aren't your bendy kind of Bite, they have a slight crispness about them but they aren't flaky. If you like strong cheeses you'll enjoy this Three Cheese recipe. Go ahead and make them into straws, I know it's not Halloween all year round for most :)


100g Gluten Free Plain Flour (Doves Farm used here)
25g Butter
1 Large Egg
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Heaped Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
100g Manchego Cheese
40g Taleggio Cheese
30g Abondance Cheese*
1 Tablespoon Paprika

These ingredients made 13 Bites, some of which were quite large.

  • Put the butter and flour into a bowl
  • Roughly cut the butter into cubes
butter flour
To Begin
  • Use your dry fingertips to rub the butter into the flour to make crumbs
butter flour crumbs
Only Takes A Couple Of Minutes
  • Break the egg into a bowl, whisk and add to the crumbs
flour butter egg
Nearly There Already
  • Mix the egg into the crumbs with a spoon
cheese straw mix
  • Add salt and paprika
  • Grate the cheeses and add to the mix
grating cheese
Mmmm Cheese
  • Use your hands to knead into a dough
cheese straw dough
So Easy
  • Leave to rest for 10 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180C fan / 200 non fan
  • Knead again until the dough is smooth
  • Gluten free flour a surface and place the dough on it to be rolled
  • Roll until about 5mm thick
cheese straw dough
Now For The Best Bit
  • Cut out your shapes with cutters or slice into straws
  • Place onto baking paper or a greased baking tray
  • Make the leftovers into another ball, roll out and keep cutting out the shapes until all the dough is used**
halloween bites
A Ridiculous Amount Of Fun Was Had
  • Put into the oven for 15 minutes
  • Remove from the baking surface and put onto wire racks to cool
halloween bites
Pleased With My Handywork
I was particularly impressed by the Bats and Cats.

bat cat bites
But Then I'm A Big Fan Of Both Creatures
I went with the combination of Manchego, Abondance and Taleggio due to the complimenting flavours and also for the different textures. There's no point having a Cheese Straw or Bite that isn't cheesy and I think that this is an ideal strength without being too pungent.

These can be kept in an airtight container for about 5 days, though they definitely won't be lasting that long here.
halloween bites
Cheesy Goodness

*Last week the unopened Abondance wedge did an unexpected jig out of the fridge and onto my toes, they're now at the purple stage of bruising. That hurt.

**When my leftover dough got too small to use the cutters I handcrafted a heart for The Glutenite, I thought that was quite romantic.

heart shaped cheese bite
Halloween Heart
I think all that's left to say today is Happy Halloween Everyone!

happy ghost

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