One of my favourite things about the festive season is that it is totally acceptable to eat cute partyfood at all mealtimes. It almost feels compulsory! These cheesy gluten free biscuits are versatile enough to spread around a cheeseboard, use as a base for canapés, or just plonk down as a table snack with a dip and some wine.
They came about quite by accident, a way of not wasting a batch of test dough for a twist on my GF Joulutortut / Jultårta recipe (check it out for a Nordic, lighter, more canapé worthy alternative to a mince pie) ahead of our Finnglish Christmas party that wasn’t right for what I wanted. Not wanting to chuck a batch of GF flour, which is seldom cheap, in the bin I set about an experiment.
I investigated my fridge for inspiration (and maybe a cider too), and found a block of Västerbottenost, a punchy cheese from the north of Sweden that I picked up on a trip to Scandinavian Kitchen. It’s worth getting your hands on the real deal and it would make a great addition to anyone’s holiday cheeseboard but if you can’t, then opt for an Italian hard cheese like Parmesan, a tangy extra mature farmhouse cheddar, or a combination of the two.
And so a star is born! A shape chosen as a nod to Tähtitortut, the little sweet Christmas stars I’d set out to create. You can opt for a different shape cutter. Hell, if you don’t own actual biscuit cutters then grab a shot glass… Total Holliday Cottage hack, but a great way of making emergency cheeseboard crackers!!
100g soft cream cheese
100g soft butter spread
100g GF plain flour (I used the Doves Farm Freee blend)
100g GF self raising flour (I used the Doves Farm Freee blend)
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
20g Nutritional yeast
1 tsp chipotle smoked Tabasco
The leaves from 3 stems of thyme
A good grind of sea salt and black pepper
Plus plenty of extra extra GF plain flour for dusting when rolling out the biscuits!
1. Preheat oven to gas 5 / electric 190C / fan 170C. Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2. Combine all the ingredients together using a fork at first and then once the butter and cream cheese is combined better, get your hands into the mix.
3. Transfer mixing bowl to the fridge, dust your surface and rolling pin with GF plain flour and then take a lump of the dough, roll out, cut your chosen shape and then transfer to and arrange on the baking parchment. Keep going until you’re done, you can combine the offcuts with the next ball of dough from the fridge.
4. Cook for around 15mins (if you use a much smaller cutter shape then monitor their progress, for reference this one was about 7.5cm across the points… not sure how you measure a star to be honest!!). In any case, they’re ready to lift out of the oven when they’re a firm texture and starting to take on a golden colour.
5. Cool on a cooling rack and then serve. Another holiday cottage (or just someone like me who puts the mess in domestic) hack for you, no cooling rack? Lift out your grill tray and repurpose!
And a bonus festive dip/sauce!!
To serve them up I wanted a Christmassy dip so blitzed up 3 well roasted, ripe vine tomatoes, about a tablespoon of farmhouse chutney (check the ingredients like a hawk… quite a few aren’t GF), the leaves from about another three sprigs of thyme and a third of a teaspoon of ground allspice. I topped with some balsamic reduction, et voila! It would also work great as a sauce on Brie based canapés or with mini GF cheesy toasts too!