Cheese Biscuits

I realise one of my fellow bloggers has had a crack at these before (from another tome, I’m using ‘Cookies and Biscuits’ in  the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cookery Compendium, Waverly 1955) but I’m going to a picnic tomorrow and anyway, I love them. Such a ominous illustration though! Curry knots and savoury plaits are clearly the snacks of doom. The little ‘boat shaped’ (I’m assuming that’s ’50s cookbook talk for ‘pointy oval’) cheese biscuits appear to be about to fall into the abyss.

Cheese Straws and BiscuitsCheese straw illustration


3oz flour
Salt and cayenne pepper
½ an egg yolk
1 ½ oz butter or margarine
2oz grated cheese

Sieve the dry ingredients and rub in the fat very lightly with the fingertips. Add the cheese and mix well.  Beat the yolk with about 1 tablespoon of water and mix into the dry ingredients, to give a stiff dough. Knead lightly, then place on a floured board and roll out into a strip about 4 inches wide. Trim and cut across into “straws”. Cut rings from the trimmings.

Place biscuits on a greased tin and bake in a moderately hot oven until golden brown and firm – about 7 – 10 minutes. When cold place straws through rings, and serve hot or cold.

This cheese pastry is the basis of many savoury biscuits, and can be cut into triangles, boat shapes etc  as seen in the picture.


  • I  followed the recipe exactly including taking the advice of the last paragraph and making some triangular ones and some round ones. (I’m easily amused.)
  • If you’re using a cutter, keep some of the yolk and water mix by you as you work, so when you squeeze the trimmings back together to roll out again and cut some more, you can add a little, to prevent the dough from becoming too dry and cracking. (You may need more than 1/2 yolk per batch anyway.)


They worked perfectly –  although I may have overdone it slightly with the cayenne pepper.

Cooked cheese biscuits

Baked by Elly


·I exactly what it said, except that I took the advice of the last paragraph and made some triangular ones and some round ones. (I’m easily amused.)


They worked perfectly – although I may have overdone it slightly with the cayenne pepper.


5 responses to “Cheese Biscuits

  1. My mother has made a similar cheese biscuit recipe that she has made my entire life. It’s one of my favorite recipies. I was surprized to see cayanne pepper in your recipe as she claims that’s her own secret ingredient. The quantities of flour and cheese seem wildly off here but other than that it’s similar.

    One of the tricks to cheese biscuits is to use a vintage Mirro cookie press. I think these things were standard wedding presents back in the 1950s as you can often find them mint in the box in antique malls. There is a 8 petal flower shaped disk that makes these perfectly

  2. Hello Wiley, I’m intrigued! What quantities of cheese and flour would you expect to see?

  3. Sorry Wiley – cayenne and cheese is a very old relationship – stood the test of time etc.

  4. Wiley Robinson

    I make what my mother calls a “double recipie. As I recall, it’s 30 oz of cheedar cheese and 4 to 5 cups of flour (the flour varies because the goal is a certain consistancy of the dough). Other ingredients are vegetable oil, baking soda, salt and the afore mentioned cayanne.

    This filled two and half tins about a a foot square and four inches deep.

    If you send me an email, I’ll send you pictures of the biscuits and the vintage cookie press I use.

  5. I see! I have noticed that US recipes are often designed for sharing and entertaining, whereas quantities in British recipes are often designed to make much smaller batches. I can confirm that this recipe can be multiplied – I recently tripled it to make 72 medium-sized biscuits for a party! (Although I ended up with only 60 edible ones, as a tray burnt while I was distracted by the internet!)

    Cookie presses are much less common in the UK, although I definitely appreciate their usefulness. If you’d like to email us, there is a link at the top, right-hand side of the screen. If you use Flickr, feel free to join our group: The Vintage Cookbook Trials Pool and share your photos there.