Cheese & Bak Kwa Gem Biscuits

When the good people at Food For Friends invited me to create some fun recipes with their cheeses, these were the first things that came to mind. Often, when creating recipes, I think about my favourite things to eat and work from there: so these were a no-brainer. It’s everything I love from the quintessential snack repertoire: Cheese, bak kwa and gem biscuits. This is super easy to make and is typically a hit because it evokes a sense of delicious nostalgia that most of us can relate to. Oddly enough, their flavours really develop as you let them sit, so exercise restraint and let them sit for a couple of hours before eating. You’ll be rewarded with more rounded, developed flavours.

Cheese and Bak Kwa Gem Biscuits
Makes about 48 biscuits

75g plain flour
75g whole wheat/whole meal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
110g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
35g Food For Friends Sliced Gouda, chopped
40g Food For Friends Sharp Cheddar, grated

Frosting:
80 bak kwa, finely minced
115g cream cheese, softened to room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  2. Place the plain flour, whole meal flour, baking powder, salt, butter and cheeses in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Blitz till it comes together to form a ball of dough.
  4. Transfer dough onto a work surface. Lightly knead and pat the dough to form a neat all.
  5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  6. Pinch off some dough and roll between your palms to form a 2cm ball. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place the balls on the paper-lined tray, about 3cm apart (these cookies won’t spread while you bake). Dust your hands with a little flour if the dough sticks to your hands.
  7. Use your finger to make a small dent at the top of each ball.
  8. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, until they look golden and toasty. They should feel quite stiff.
  9. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before icing them.
  10. To make the frosting, mix the minced bak kwa with the cream cheese in a bowl till evenly blended.
  11. Fit a piping bag with a medium star tip. Place the bak kwa cream cheese in the piping bag.
  12. Pipe a small star of frosting over each biscuit. Serve immediately.
  13. These iced biscuits will keep in an air-tight container at room temperature for 24 hours.