Love of the Cheese Stars Kind

Every parenting book will advice against bribing your darlings with foodie treats. And every parent shall succumb. Repeatedly.

My thinking is that if you are going to resort to such underhand, devious, desperate methods, might as well ease your conscience with something that is homemade. At least there are no nasties.

Restoration of peace and goodwill comes rather easily in this house between frazzled, battle-worn mother and frustrated daughter. Cheese stars are the answers to all life’s difficult, everyday traumas. Its an olive branch, a deal breaker, an expression of love. Don’t taunt it till you bake it! Nothing I ever make, cook or bake can equal LilLassie’s love for these.

Cheesy, obviously, crispy, light with a background warmth of cayenne, Nigella’s cheese stars from How To Eat hits the yummy spot irrespective of age. Easy to make, the ingredients are changeable, and the superbly garish orange day glo colour ensures its the perfect baking activity with kids. I love these as stars, rolled thinly, which puff up proudly on baking. They taste wonderful. Hardly are the biscuits allowed to cool before eager hands gratify greedy mouths.

Nigella mentions around 10 minutes baking time. Now, unless these biscuits are mahooosive, mine never, ever, no matter how large I go, take that long. Its a fan oven and I keep the temperature at 180 deg. These cook fast. Keep an eye on them, I almost burnt this batch and it took all of five minutes.

Make these instead of serving crisps for a get together with adults, don’t confine them only to kiddie parties. I also often triple up the recipe, roll, cut and open freeze, ready to be thrown into the oven after the next mother-daughter bust up. You know it will happen.

A mother must have cheese biscuits in her bribing-peace-buying repertoire!

Cheesey Stars2

Cheese Stars

From How to Eat by Nigella Lawson


50gm self raising flour
25gm softened butter
80gm finely grated red leicester
20gm finely grated parmesan
Pinch of cayenne pepper


Preheat the oven to 200deg. (180 for fan ovens)

Put all of the above ingredients into a food processor and blitz until its start to come together into a dough. It might take a wee bit of time, but it does get there. Often when I see that the mix is a homogenous bright orange colour, I take it out and work the dough by hand a bit into a soft, smooth dough.

I tend to place it in the fridge as its so warm here, but if it isn’t, and certainly when I was in the UK, I proceeded with rolling it out to around 3mm, cutting and laying them on a couple of baking trays.

Place them in your oven for around 5 minutes for small ones and 8 minutes for larger shapes. This is very much a guideline. As soon as you see a uniform golden orange colour, then its time to take it out and cool it on a rack.

These are best on the day made, but do last till the next day before it starts to soften. The dough can be frozen too for a couple of months, or open freeze the cut out shapes and then store in an airtight container. You can then put it straight into the oven, giving it a couple of extra minutes.


11 thoughts on “Love of the Cheese Stars Kind

  1. Natalie Morine

    I can so relate to this post Carrie, bribery can get you everywhere!
    I havent made these yet even after hearing so much from the gals in internet land…must give them a go. xx

  2. eat little bird

    Oh I loooove your photos! I love how you feature your kids not only in your posts, but also in the photos 🙂 I particularly love the photo of Lil Lassie nibbling on the biscuit. I’ve always wanted to try this recipe but just seem to never have gotten around to it. I’ll have to rectify that very soon as I know I’m going to love these!

  3. Melanie

    I have to agree with you completely…. this is a win win recipe .. not only for the kids but hubby loves them as well… although I make a big batch it doesn’t last more than a day and a half…what I love about it is that you can alter it .. try different cheese or add dried herbs for another flavour ..very versatile…..and simple to make … need to find more recipes like this….

  4. nicola

    I absolutely adore this recipe. My boys love them but I actually have to hide these biscuits from myself because I find them so addictive! I’ve taken them to children’s parties many times and the parents end up asking for the recipe. Definitely a winner!

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Oh its the same here! Well the husband is the worst! He will have the last one, in front of his daughter, while she has been pleading for it! To be fair, she would have had a heap earlier! Irresistible!

  5. Hazzer

    Great blog and lovely photos as usual. I think I am going to make these for my birthday lunch with the girls. They look so good. Nothing wrong with a bit of bribery and corruption 😉

  6. Cucina Italiana

    We love, love, LOVE these – ever since I first made ‘cheesy feet’ a few years back! Now I make all kinds of shapes – depending on the occasion for which they are being baked, but the feet are always particularly well received by all. 😉

    Another great post Carrie!

    Claudine xx

  7. Mom

    Yes, these cheesy bites sure do a lot of things. I like to call these little tempters “PEACEMAKERS”.
    Maternal Grandma of LilLassie became acceptable to her after a combined baking session of these little cheesies. Her uncle Luval who is 11 years also loves them. Great as snacks for school as well.
    Melanie’s got a point there. Should add some Chat Masala and try it on Uncle Prashant.



  8. healthylittleplate

    I’m so gonna make these stars for my daughter. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂 Your recipes look great!

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