My lovely wife Melissa is from the Emerald Isle (and I can never forget it!) so I had to bake her an Irish inspired treat to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day. I really wanted to use my favourite shamrock cookie cutter but was struggling to come up an Irish recipe to use it with. Colcannan cookies? Bailey's biscuits? Irish stew scones? Mmmm I'm not so sure... So I opt to make a savoury Irish oat biscuit that will work a treat with a wedge of Cashel Blue cheese, from Melissa's own home county of Tipperary. I found an old Delia recipe and worked my lucky charms to give it an Irish twist:
175g wholemeal plain flour
50g Irish porridge oats
4 teaspoons soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon maldon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
a few good grinds of black pepper
110g Irish butter, chopped into small cubes
1-2 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and lightly grease a baking tray
Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then using your fingers and thumbs rub the butter in evenly (as if you're making a crumble). Add just enough milk to bring it together into a dough that's slightly wetter than you would normally use for pastry (this helps to hold it together because it's quite crumbly).
Roll the dough out onto a floured worktop until it's about 3mm thick, then use your shamrock cookie cutter to cut out your biscuits. I guess you could use a regular round cutter, but it might not taste so good... Any leftover dough can be re-rolled adding a little extra milk if it's a bit dry.
Pop the biscuits on your baking tray and bake for 15-18 minutes until firm and slightly browned on top. Carefully lift using a palette knife onto a wire rack to cool.
Keep in an airtight tin and enjoy with a generous hunk of Cashel Blue, Stilton or some Mature Cheddar and a spoon of homemade chutney. Delish!
Well they would be if we actually had any cheese in our fridge. Darn it! Although I was waiting for an excuse to go down to Brampton's Cheese Shop in Kemp Town :o)