These Cheesy Biscuits, are my version of Turkish savoury biscuits Tuzlu Kurabiye, (it literally translates as salty biscuit/cookie). Peynirli Kurabiye is my cheese version (Peynir) & are perfect for pairing with your favourite cheese, but equally good snacked on alone. So ideal for New Year & parties.
Turkish Cheese Biscuits
Published 29/11/19, updated photos 30/12/22
This is my version of savoury biscuits that originate from my husband’s homeland – Turkey. Known as Tuzlu Kurabiye, it literally translates as salty biscuit. For this here, I added cheese to the dough. These are perfect for pairing with your favourite cheese, but equally good snacked on alone. They are very moreish…. you won’t be disappointed. I made bat shaped & Autumn/Fall ones for Halloween, see photo below.
Useful Info On These Biscuits/Cookies
Biscuit Or Cookie?
For our American readers, UK biscuits are our name for cookies and not to be confused with American biscuits.
Tips For Handling The Dough
The savoury biscuit dough is very soft, even after chilling & will still be very delicate. You don’t want to firm the dough by adding anymore flour, since the delicate dough is what gives these savoury cookies their unique but moreish qualities. They have a very soft crumbly texture that melts in the mouth – similar to Scottish shortbread, but not sweet and not overly buttery either.
Be sure not to skip the chilling time, and you could even freeze it.
A Note On The Ingredients
I use butter for this recipe, (as it reduces the chilling time dramatically). I used to use what we have in the UK call ‘Baking Spread’. It’s made up of vegetable fats & is less expensive than butter, & comes in double the size of container.
I have used Aldi or Lidl’s ‘Perfect For Cakes‘. I did a little research and the best equivalent I could come up with in the states (with a relatively high fat percentage) was Country Crock ‘Unsalted Baking Sticks’, with 79% of such fats. If there are any other good brands that are cheaper than butter, please let me know.
If not using butter, you really need to chill the dough for at least 3 hours after the initial formign of the dough and more chilling later.
What Cookie Cutter To Use
I used a round cutter & square/fluted cutter for the cheese cookies, that were 4½cm (1¾”) wide. As well as some bigger Christmas shaped ones. You can of course use any cutters or sizes you like, just be aware of baking them for a shorter or longer time.
I got a total of 51 cookies from this batch, but if you do all of yours the smaller size, you will get much more. Just be aware that I would not advise using stamp/push-out cookie cutters as the dough is very delicate and would stick to it.
Here’s some old pics, with different shapes of savoury biscuits, as well as some with extra sesame seeds.
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: easy, beginner
- Scales or measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Large spoon
- Small measuring jug
- 2 Small Bowls (to separate eggs)
- Stand or Hand Mixer (not essential)
- Baking trays/sheets (2-3 large)
- Baking/parchment paper
- Cookie Cutters (I used square and round ones about 4½cm (1¾") wide)
- Pastry Brush (or Paint/Artist brush)
- Palette knife, or butter knife
- Cooling rack
- Timer or Phone Timer
For The Dough
- 125 grams Butter, unsalted, cubed & softened a little (1 stick + 2 tsp, 4½ oz)*
- 120 ml Oil (4 fl oz, ½ cup, Vegetable oil or other neutral oil)
- 1 ½ tbsp Cider Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar or white Vinegar)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 10 grams Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda, 2 scant tsps- below level)
- 1 Egg Yolk (medium or large) (Large or XLarge US, keep white for glazing on top)
- 3 tsp Icing Sugar (powdered sugar)
- 312 grams Plain Flour, approximately (2½ cups All Purpose Flour, 11oz approximately)
- 90 grams Mature Cheddar Cheese, cubed (3 oz, ⅔ cup Sharp Cheddar, optional, for a whole batch)
For The Topping
- 1 Egg white (from above with a splash of milk or water.)
- Seeds of choice (optional – sesame seeds, pumpkin, sunflower, Nigella seeds)
- Begin by cubing the butter, & leave to soften & come to room temperature. If you forget, or are in a hurry, try this hack I reviewed. Go to How To Soften Butter In About 12 minutes Video.
- Also prepare your baking sheets/trays by lining with baking/parchment paper.
Prepare The Biscuit/Cookie Dough
- When the butter is softened, (see video on how to test if butter is ready for baking), beat a little with a hand/stand mixer until soft & spreadable. Add in the icing/powdered sugar & salt, beat again but only just until incorporated. (See Photo 1 below). Then mix in the egg yolk & oil.
- Next add the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to vinegar in a small bowl, (but not too small as the mixture will react and fizz). Be sure to be ready to quickly add this to the main mixing bowl, before giving it a mix through till incorporated. See Photo 1 above.
- Gradually add the flour, until a smooth dough comes together. I usualy add in about 125g (1 cup) of flour at a time. You might need more or less flour. Different types of flour, where & how it is milled, results in a variation in how much liquid it will absorb. So there can be no exact amount of flour to add with lots of recipes. For the correct consistency, roll a smooth ball of the dough & flatten it with your hand. If you do that without it falling apart or sticking to your hand, it is ready. You can also swap over to a wooden spoon/spatula or use your hands, towards the end of bringing the dough together. See Photo 2 above.
- Cut 2 extra large pieces of baking/parchment paper (approximately 40cm/15½″ long). Knead the dough for 5 second knead & shape into a ball & flatten. Place the cubed cheese in a food processor & blitz to large breadcrumb sized pieces. Alternatively you can just add grated cheese (I have done this when I have forgot). Add the cheese to the top of the disc of dough & knead together, just until all the cheese is distributed. (You can do this on the paper or whilst still in the bowl). See Photo 3 above. Divide the dough, & flatten both into a disc, placing one half into the fridge in some paper or cling film/plastic wrap.
- Place one half of the dough, in-between the 2 sheets of baking/parchment paper, before rolling the dough until you a thickness at least 5 or 6mm (⅕-¼"). (*height of £1 coin plus a 1p). Place the rolled out dough (& bottom paper), on a tray & place in the fridge, making sure it is completely flat. Chill the dough for 30 – 45 minutes**, while doing the same for the second half of dough. (Take a note of when you placed the first rolled out dough into the fridge). See Photo 3 above.
Cut Out The Biscuits/Cookies
- When 30 minutes is up, start to cut out the biscuits/cookies. Dip the cookie cutter in a small bowl of flour, shaking the excess & cut out as many cookies as you can get. (You can use several different shaped cutters). Lift the biscuit dough carefully, with a palette knife or butter knife, & place on the prepared baking tray/sheet, leaving a little gap in-between each.
- Once the first tray/sheet is filled, place in the fridge, whilst you roll up the scraps & continue to cut, and re-roll until all the dough is used up. Remember to place the filled trays/sheets in the fridge. Do the same for the second half of the dough. Take a note of the time you placed the first tray in the fridge as you will be chilling for another 1 hour (or freeze for 30 minutes).
- Heat up the oven to 180°c/160°c fan oven/350°f/Gas Mark 4 to coincide with the end of the chilling time. Just before the oven is ready, use your egg white left-over & a little water or milk, to brush generously onto the tops of the biscuits/cookies. Sprinkle or place seeds on top if desired.
Bake The Biscuits/Cookies
- Place the first prepared tray of biscuits in the oven, for about 14-16 mins, until turning golden on top & around the edges. You want the cookies to be set, but just a little soft in the middle. (Note if your cookies are thinner than mine, you might need a bit less time). Just remember, that the cookies will continue to bake out of the oven, from residual heat coming from the baking sheet/tray. While the first batch are cooking, you can add egg wash & seeds to your second batch & place back in the fridge till ready to bake.
- Remove from the oven & leave to cool on the tray/sheet for 5 mins. Meanwhile you can put the other uncooked biscuits in to be baked. Then transfer very carefully to a cooling rack by using the baking/parchment paper. **They are a very soft textured biscuit, so be very careful not to drop them.
Recipe Yield – makes approximately 48 biscuits/cookies, depending on size of cutter. The square & round cutters I used were about 4½cm (1¾”) wide. If making different sized savoury cookies, be sure to keep similar sized ones on the same baking sheets/trays so that they cook at the same rate. For more details & photos, please see before Recipe card. Print via this Recipe Card, with/without photos or these notes. Differences Between UK & US Baking Ingredients Note all measurements have been hand tested by myself during recipe development. You might find my table of conversions of common baking ingredients handy – Conversion Of UK & US Common Baking Ingredients
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