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CHEESE BATONS

Cheese batons These light-textured, crunchy biscuits have a strong cheese flavour, as long as you use strong, sharp cheese to make them.

Serve them as a salty snack with beer, wine or cocktails or to accompany bouillons and soups. They go especially well with tomato soup.

100 g unsalted butter
100 g coarse wheat flour
(pinch of paprika powder or cayenne pepper)
100 g finely and freshly grated strong, extra-mature/vintage Cheddar cheese (or substitute half with freshly grated Parmesan cheese)

To produce the correct texture, the cheese has to be very finely grated, so preferably use an almond mill or something similar for grating.

In a wide, large saucepan, let the butter slowly melt using the lowest heat. If you are using paprika powder or cayenne pepper, mix it with the flour. Take the pan of melted butter off the stove and let it cool for a while. Add the flour and the grated cheese to the butter and mix quickly with a fork until you get a smooth mixture. If the dough seems a bit too sticky and soft, you can add some more flour.

Unbaked cheese batons Take small portions of the mixture and roll them on the work surface or between your palms into small batons, about 1 - 1½ cm wide and 5 - 7 cm long (see the picture on right).

If the mixture gets too soft and difficult to handle, you can wrap it in plastic and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes for it to harden.

Place the cheese batons on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, leaving some space between them, as depending on the type of cheese you are using they may spread quite a bit during baking. If this happens, add more flour to the dough.

Bake the batons at 200 °C for about 5 - 9 minutes, or until they are golden and just slightly starting to brown around the edges.

Let the batons cool on a wire rack until firm and crisp. Store them in an airtight container and eat within a couple of days.

Recipe source: adapted from "Juustotangot II", Koskimies, Helmi, and Eva Somersalo (1980) Keittotaito. Porvoo: WSOY.


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