Parmesan Thyme Shortbread

Today is the last day of term for L and M. It is also their last day at the village school as they will be moving to a specialist music school in September.

Standing in the playground for the final time this morning, they clutched presents for their teachers and received gifts from friends they have known for most of their young lives. It was a particularly poignant moment tempered only by the knowledge that whilst their classmates may be changing, their long-standing friends at home in the village will still be around for after-school play dates.

To thank all of the staff at the school for their hard work and dedicated teaching, I made a batch of savoury shortbreads flavoured with Parmesan, thyme and pepper. I arranged these around a block of perhaps the creamiest, tastiest Cheddar cheese ever –Barbers 1833.

Hopefully, these nibbles will provide an antidote to the many sweet, chocolatey treats that I am sure are now filling the staffroom!

Parmesan and Thyme Shortbread

8 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
7 oz Parmesan, freshly grated
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
9 1/4 oz plain flour
2 1/4 oz potato starch

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Beat the softened butter until it is creamy and billowy.

Stir in the grated Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper, mixing at low speed until combined.

Add the flour and potato starch. Continue to mix at a low speed for about a minute until the dough holds together in clumps.

Press the dough together with your hands and place on a floured surface.

Roll out to about 1/4″ thickness (it helps to place a piece of clingfilm/plastic wrap on top of the dough whilst rolling).

Cut circles using a round biscuit cutter (1 5/8″ diameter). Place on ungreased baking trays and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until slightly puffed and golden.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes enough for a staffroom of Primary schoolteachers (about 60 to 70 biscuits … I’m afraid I lost count).

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  1. baking is not my forte but this looks so simple! can’t to try this recipe out!


  2. They’re not difficult at all, Monica. Do give them a go – I’d love to know what you think 🙂 .

  3. I haven’t tried the Barber’s 1833 cheddar. I will have to keep my eyes peeled for it!
    The shortbreads look wonderful. I will try this recipe out too. I love savoury biscuits.
    You are probably right about the tons of sweet presents given to the teachers!

    Hope you have a summer break of fun and frolic!

    • You could always plan a trip back to Dart’s Farm for the cheese, Melinda – that’s where I was introduced to it! 😉
      I’m not so sure about the fun and frolic, but I’m sure we’ll manage to salvage some memorable moments from the sibling rivalry over this summer! Looking forward to meeting you again soon (NB Kate: you must email everyone to arrange this – August is creeping up fast).

  4. Jeannette Mara

     /  July 26, 2010

    Shortbreads are my favourite biscuits so I must try this savoury version! I was at Dart’s Farm at the end of June, pity I didn’t know about this cheese then. We came down to see E dolled up for her Prom Ball, it was fun! Went to DF with Anne while the men watched the football, it was almost empty, most of the staff had their radio’s on listening to the commentary! Looking forward to meeting up again if possible.

    • Ah yes, the football. It was blissfully quiet around here while that was on – at least that’s one thing to be said in its favour! See you soon (fingers crossed!) 🙂

  5. Lucy

     /  September 8, 2010

    I’ve just spotted this post. I agree completely about the savoury snacks going down a treat in the staffroom. We all love having cheese and biscuits at my school! We have a rota for people to bring in treats on Fridays and someone had the bright idea of cheese one week. Mmm. Maybe when it’s my birthday I’ll take in some of these biscuits with some yummy cheeses… xx

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