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Herby dip with cheese biscuits

Serve as an unusual starter at a dinner party or, accompanied by a vegetable soup, as a quick supper dish. Alternatively, cut out the biscuits with tiny petits fours cutters or cut into small straws and serve at a drinks party.
The biscuits may be served while still slightly warm.

ingredients

serves 4
100 g (4 oz) Wensleydale, Caerphilly or white Cheshire cheese, grated
100 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh fennel leaves or mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 tablespoons milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper

cheese biscuits

100 g (4 oz) butter, softened
100 g (4 oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
100 g (4 oz) wholewheat flour
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
margarine, for greasing

method

1. Make the biscuits: heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and lightly grease a baking sheet. Sift the flour.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until pale and creamy, then beat in the cheese. Add the flour a little at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, to form a stiff dough.

3. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on a lightly floured work surface and roll out the dough, until about 2 mm(1/8 inch) thick. Cut the dough into about 12 rounds using a lightly floured 7.5 cm (3 inch) pastry cutter.

4. Using a palette knife, transfer the
rounds to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart, then bake for 5-8 minutes until golden.

5. Remove from the oven, allow to settle for 1 - 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

6. Meanwhile, make the dip: put the Wensleydale cheese into a bowl with the butter, herbs, paprika, caraway seeds and milk. Beat until blended and creamy, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Spoon the mixture into a small serving dish, smooth over the surface and serve with the biscuits.

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