Well, I have to admit, I was rather taken aback with the positive responses to the Welsh Dragon Leek soup, but more so towards the Welsh Dragon savoury shortbread.
So may I present to you this Savoury shortbread in its own right. This savoury shortbread made from scratch with sharp cheddar cheese and chilli flakes, then cut in the shape of a Welsh Dragon.
The Welsh Dragon Cookie or biscuit cutter I used for here is perhaps the most expensive one I own. It cost about a £5.00. I actually purchased them on-line as I could not find any every time I went to Wales to visit family, none of the specialist cook shops or souvenir shops had any. My nephew recently notified me that there is a large cookware shop in Cardiff that now sells them for about the same price.
This Welsh dragon cutter is much more intricate in detail than the others I own and its is one that doesn’t come out that often, except perhaps around St Davids Day, but recently with my nephew up, I was reminded of home - rainy Wales. I wanted to make some Welsh recipes with a South Asian touch, but the Welsh boyo (my nephew) said he lives in Wales and the last thing he wants to do whilst visiting his number one Aunt in Scotland was eat Welsh inspired fare, so other than the Welsh Vegetarian Burger, I did not get to make any other others until now.
Ideally, I know these should have been made with a Welsh cheese such as Caerphilly or , but I’ve mentioned before that I do struggle to find good Welsh cheese in Scotland, so Cheddar it had to be. I am not one to boast, but these savoury shortbread biscuits are exceptionally good and wonderfully flaky. The cheddar flavour comes through rather strongly. Some of you will know that I served them with the 'Leek, potato and chilli soup' as a generous crouton, but they are fine to eat on their own as nibbles or served with some good chutney.
Of course being in the shape of a Red Dragon in Welsh Y Ddraig Goch, this savoury shortbread had to have an element of red running through it, hence the chilli flakes for colour and a little fire for flavour, after all we cannot have such a fantastical creature not breathing fire. The chilli kick is there, just not overly spicy. I recommend eating these fresh on the day, a day or two later and they lose that crisp freshness.
I made these in a food processor, but I am sure you can also do them by hand.
Red Dragon Chilli Shortbread
Makes 6 Welsh dragon or about 16 - 18 other shapes, a chilli pepper would be excellent.
Also you can double the quantity below if you want to make a lot more.
150g sharp cheddar cheese, grated
40g unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
130g plain white flour
1 - 2 teaspoons cold water (may not be necessary)
Preheat oven to Gas mark 6.
In a food processor, blend together the cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add in the flour with the chilli flakes and mix thoroughly. You may or may not need it, so check and then add a teaspoon of water at a time to form a dough. If necessary, squeeze together with your hands to form the dough into a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes with your chosen cookie cutter and place on an un-oiled baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges and bottom. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates.