These could be made using an aged Gouda, asiago or any firm, flavourful cheese. For a twist, try blitzing a teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary into the dry ingredients in place of the cayenne.
Makes: Makes lots.
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated old or extra-old cheddar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into chunks
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch cayenne pepper or paprika (sweet or smoked - optional)
2 Tbsp. milk
1Put the cheddar, flour, butter, salt and cayenne into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well combined and crumbly. (If you don’t have a food processor, grate the cheese and toss it with the dry ingredients, breaking it up as much as you can with a whisk, pastry cutter or fork.) Add the milk and pulse until it starts to come together. Remove the dough from the food processor and gather it into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for about 20 minutes.
2Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into an oval or rectangle about 1/8” thick and cut crosswise into strips that are about 1/4” wide using a pizza wheel or sharp knife. (Alternatively, cut the dough into stars or other small shapes.) Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet and if you like, twist them a few times for dramatic effect. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until pale golden on the ends.