Preparation Time Cook Time
15 minutes 8 minutes
(resting time 40 minutes)
100g sifted plain flour
50 g butter (cold) unsalted, chopped into cubes
60 g parmesan, freshly grated
pinch salt & pepper
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
25 cherry tomatoes
1 red onion peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper (pinch of each)
1 clove of garlic chopped finely
1 tbsp. of fresh chopped basil (or tsp.of dried basil)
1. Pre heat the oven to 180ºC (350F) (Gas 4)
2. Place the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne in a bowl and add the cold, chopped butter.
3. Using your fingertips break the butter into the dry ingredients and rub together to form breadcrumb texture. Keep working the crumb until it comes together to form a clump of dough. This does take time - be patient. (alternatively place all the ingredients in a mixer and mix to form a dough)
4. Rest the dough in the fridge, wrapped in cling film for 20 minutes.
5. Then roll out the dough on a floured surface, keep moving it around so that it does not stick to the surface.
6. It should be the thickness of a coin. Thick enough to hold a topping but not too chunky.
7. Stamp our your chosen shape: rounds, hearts, stars whatever you wish.
8. Place them on a greased baking tray - neatly spread out.
9. Then rest again in the fridge for another 20 minutes.
10. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes until golden in appearance.
11. Allow to cool.
12. Once cooled you can then top them but only do this within 2 hours of serving to stop the biscuits becoming soggy.
13. Place the halved cherry tomatoes, red onion, basil, balsamic, garlic and olive oil in a bowl - mix around to coat.
13. Roast the tomato mixture in the oven 180ºC (350F) (Gas 4) for approx. 20 minutes until collapsed and juicy looking. Allow to cool and then top the shortbreads.
14. You can then add a finishing touch of some form of cheese: e.g. chopped Feta, Cheddar, Stilton, or a little touch of pesto or a little piece of salami or chorizo. The options are endless.
15. Finish off the canapes with a little flourish of fresh herbs: I've used basil but you could use chives, parsley, coriander just as well.
These shortbreads keep well in a sealed tin for about two weeks.
But they freeze brilliantly - so on a rainy day why not make a double batch and freeze ready for when guests turn up. Defrost for about 2 hours prior to serving.
The roasted, garlic tomato topping is a great base upon which to add whatever flavours you love: stilton, dolcelatte, pesto, goats cheese, bacon, cooked meat. So many options to vary the canapes and make them look fabulous.