SAVOURY COCKTAIL SHORT BREADS BASIC SHORTBREAD 5 1/2 oz (150g) all purpose flour 2 3/4 oz (75g) ground almonds 5 1/2 oz (150g) salted butter, chilled and diced FLAVOURINGS 1 heaped tsp poppy seeds plus extra for rolling finely grated zest of 1 lemon 1 heaped tsp sesame seeds plus extra for rolling scant tsp ground cumin 1 oz (25g) grated Parmesan cheese cayenne pepper vegetable oil for brushing Place the flour, ground almonds and butter in the bowl of a food processor and briefly whizz to fine crumbs, it is very important to head the word 'briefly' here, otherwise you'll end up with a dough. Divide the mixture among three bowls. Stir the heaped tsp poppy seeds and the lemon zest into one, the heaped tsp sesame seeds and the cumin into another, and the Parmesan and a suspicion of cayenne pepper into the third bowl. Bring each mixture together into a ball using your hands. Form the balls of dough into three roughly shaped sausages, each about 1 1/4 (3cm) in diameter, and wrap them in clingfilm, giving them a roll on the counter to smooth them out. You can freeze the dough sausages at this point, otherwise chill them for an hour or two. If freezing, defrost them before proceeding. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 310 F/ 160 C/ gas 2 1/2 and lightly brush two baking sheets with oil. Knead the poppy seed dough until pliable, then roll pieces into balls a little smaller then a cherry. Roll these in poppy seeds and arrange spaced slightly apart on a baking sheet. repeat with the sesame seed dough, rolling these into elongated lozenge shapes. Slice the roll of cheese dough into discs about 1/2 inch (1cm) thick. Bake the biscuits for 35 to 40 minutes until the cheese ones are lightly golden, by which time the others will also be cooked inside. Loosen them with a spatula or palette knife and leave to cool. SERVES 10 NOTE: These biscuits will keep well in an airtight container for up to a week. These are nice on there own or served with a dip or an assortment of dips. These can also be served alongside antipasto trays and make a very nice addition to a bread basket.
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