My Chilli Cheese Hearts are the perfect treat for that special someone in your life that is more in love with cheese than chocolate. They also have a subtle chilli kick because everyone needs a little spice!
I know a fair few people that love cheese more than anything. Those people shouldn’t miss out on Valentine’s Day and make do with chocolate. They want cheese so that is what they should get!
I’ve been making cheese straws for as long as I can remember. They were one of the first thing I remember baking as a child. They are incredibly easy to make because you don’t need a mixer because it is easier to make them by hand. My Chilli Cheese Hearts are an elevated version of the original recipe which is even more addictive.
These are incredibly moreish and you will find it very hard to stop yourself from eating the whole batch. If you are making these for group of people, I would definitely recommend doubling the batch as they will be gone in the blink of an eye.
These have a warmth of chilli – they aren’t too spicy but you can taste the chilli which is the whole point! If you use a large red chilli, then this will be milder than using a smaller chilli. Also you can dictate how spicy the Chilli Cheese Hearts will be by the chilli powder that you use. I used guajillo chilli powder which is quite mild but you can use a hotter chilli power if you are a fan of spice.
Although I have cut these into hearts on this occasion, when I made them at Christmas I cut them into stars. When you are rolling the dough, make sure you handle it as little as possible as the more you handle it the higher risk of it becoming tough. If you didn’t want to cut them into any shape at all, just roll the dough out and cut it into rectangles.
The size of you cutter will obviously dictate how many hearts you will make. I used a medium sized cutter and made 22 hearts. These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days; but lets face it, they will be gone the day you bake them!
100g self raising flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp chilli powder
100g stong cheddar cheese, grated
1 red chili, finely diced
Splash of milk
- Heat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted or 200ºC non fan) and line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone mat
- Mix together the flour, salt, mustard, cayenne pepper and chilli powder
- Add the butter and rub into the flour mix using the tips of your fingers and your thumbs until you get the consistency of breadcrumbs
- Stir in the half of the diced chilli and cheese keeping roughly 15g of the cheese back. Add enough egg to form a stiff dough – depending on the size of your egg, you may not need to use all of it so add a little at a time
- Lightly dust your surface with flour and roll the dough until it is a couple of millimeters thick
- Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts and lay them on the prepared baking tray
- Gather up and re-roll the dough as few times as possible but also cutting out as many hearts as possible
- Once all of the hearts are on the baking tray, brush them with what is left of the egg. If there isn’t much, or none at all, use a splash of milk
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of each heart and then finish by sprinkling the remaining chilli
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden