So most of the cooking I've managed to squeeze in has been of the "sheer necessity" or the "food gift" variety. In the former category, I made homemade mayonnaise over the weekend, for only the second time ever, when I realized we didn't have any.* In the latter, to bring to friends hosting us, things like homemade chocolates and, yesterday, these cheesy, salty, spicy treats.
Adapted from Tamasin's Kitchen Bible by Tamasin Day-Lewis
These have been described as being like "homemade Cheez-Its", but I think that's only because they're cheesy and it's really hard to stop eating them. Texturally, they are like tiny, crumbly cookies, and they taste complex and savory. To me they're more like what Cheez-Its want to be when they grow up.
110 g/4 oz plain/all-purpose flour
110 g/4 oz parmesan, grated**
healthy pinches of: salt, freshly ground black pepper, mustard, and cayenne pepper
110 g/4 oz butter, melted
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Mix dry ingredients together, then add in butter and stir until mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs. (Add more butter if necessary.) Make walnut-sized balls*** and place on baking sheet(s) lined with parchment. Bake 15-20 minutes (reversing position of sheet(s) halfway through) until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with more salt and black pepper after removing from oven, and allow to cool on sheet(s).
* I also managed to slip this into the latter category, by bringing some of along yesterday as a gift--I thought my hostess would appreciate it.
** I used a mix of mostly pecorino romano and some sharp cheddar.
*** I used a deep teaspoon measurement to make half-balls. They were a good bite size and went further.