Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Cheesy Feet (aka feet-shaped cheese biscuits)

If someone has slightly 'aromatic' feet, then we call these 'juustud' or cheese(s) in Estonian (as in 'take your cheese away from me!'). Imagine my delight then when I spotted cheesy feet biscuits on page 253 in Nigella’s Feast: Food That Celebrates Life. As I like cheese – and cheese biscuits - a lot, I spent few frustrating hours in the web looking for such feet-shaped cookie cutters.

It wasn't easy – even the US websites were either out of stock or had only odd-looking and odd-shaped feet cutters available. I eventually managed to find the ones I liked from The Professional Cookware Company and in return for £6.95 plus £4.95 P&P (ouch!) I was sent a delightful ‘Feet Cookie Cutters 3 Piece Set’:

Last night I tried and tested my new cheesy feet cookie cutters, using a recipe for cheese and caraway biscuits from March 2003 issue of Elukiri – a monthly magazine for elderly Estonians :) Caraway is probably the most common seasoning for cheese biscuits back home and it's no wonder, as these two produce a very tasty combination indeed. The following recipe results in particularly cheesy and airy dainty biscuits:

Estonian Cheese Biscuits with Caraway Seeds
(Köömnesõbra juustuküpsised)

For the cheesy dough:
125 g (4.4 oz) grated cheese
2oo ml plain/all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
100 g (3.5 oz) cold butter

Grate the cheese, mix with flour. Add the salt and then mix in butter with a knife. Using your hands, bring everything together into a dough and put it into a fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out to the 3-4 mm thickness (this is easiest to do between 2 sheets of cling film) and use feet-shaped cutters to cut out lots of biscuits. Transfer onto a baking tray.

For the glossy top:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk or cream

Mix and brush thinly over the biscuits.

For sprinkling:
Caraway seeds (my favourite!)
Poppy seeds
Sesame seeds

Bake in a pre-heated 200˚C oven for 10-12 minutes until biscuits and slightly golden. Enjoy.

PS You can obviously use more regular cookie cutters for these biscuits instead of feet-shaped cutters. Though I don't guarantee that they'll look as cute then:)

* It's Take 1 this time, as I plan to try and test (or should it be 'try and taste'?) other cheese biscuit recipes in the near future.

By the way – does anyone know where I could find cookie cutters shaped like these?

I spotted these lovely bikini clad ladies on page 61 of London Evening Standard on Friday 17 June 2005. Apparently these are served as part of Pret a Portea afternoon tea (£31) at the Berkeley in Knightsbridge, London and are designed by Cucci.
I can imagine making lovely Christmassy gingerbread bikini clad ladies cookie presents for some friends – just need to get hold of a cookie cutter like that.


Joycelyn said...

hiya, those look and sound so cute! plus have always liked the combination of cheese and caraway

Anonymous said...

Mmm, looks really nice!

The only bikini cookie cutters i've seen are these:

Michèle said...

Hi Pille,
the feet, oh the feet! they are very cool. I would be giggling too with each toe that I bit off. And I hope you can manage to get some bikini shapes, they are very cute!

Spinning Girl said...

Tore blog sul, tubli!

Spinning Girl said...

The only thing about the juustud is that I HATE caraway seeds. I suppose they would be good without seeds!
--Ketrav Tüdruk

Anonymous said...

These look great! I'll definitely give them a try. I think I found a store in NY that sells the feet-shaped cookie cutters: I love the idea. I can picture myself using them for everything: cookies, sandwiches, anything else I can think of...

What kind of cheese did you use for your biscuits?

Shayne said...

my guess is that the cutters are polymer clay cutters. I am looking into polymer cutters right now and the choices are wonderful. I have not seen bikini ones yet but I am sure that they are out there to be found

Anne said...

Oh, *very* cute! I'll try this recipe with sharp Vasterbotten cheese and caraway seeds - sounds like a stellar combination to me. No feet cutters though - but I have some other cute ones :)

Alanna Kellogg said...

Aii, with the language connection - how clever! - I suspect these could be an instant Estonian classic! Very fun, Pille.

Pille said...

Tack, Dagmar - these may just do the trick, though I might get some thin metal and twist it into bikini shape myself:)

J - caraway is not widely used in the UK (at least these days), so I've come to think of it as particularly north/eastern European spice. We use it in baking, soups, sauerkraut, stews etc in Estonia. Rye bread with caraway is popular back home and it's especially nice with cheese again.
But the biscuits were cute indeed -I was nibbling off the toes one by one in the bigger ones (I made them in three sizes) and it made me giggle..

Michele - thanks for visiting! I do hope I'll bikini shaped cookie cutters - decorating gingerbread sounds really fun:)

Spinning Girl - tänud komplimendi eest!

Hi Natalie - I used some Estonian cheese I had in my fridge called Atleet - it's more like provolone cheese, and not as crumbly as cheddar. But I think any semi-hard cheese would do, Monterey Jack included.

Shayne - thanks for the information! A jeweller friend of mine said they might be able to help me finding these cutters, too:)

Anne - they are cute, aren't they? I think I'll look up my feet-shaped cutters during the weekend and make a batch for K.

Alanna - yep, 'cheesy feet' has many connotations in Estonian:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Pille,

I just bought that cookie cutter from It's in the shape of a body, so you can draw bikini, bra & panties or beach shorts.

thecatinthetree said...