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Cheese and black pepper buttons

Updated: Mon, 19 February, 2024

Cheesy biscuits with black pepper and a hint of garlic. So moreish. So easy to make.

cheese and black pepper buttons

Addicted to biscuits

Cheese, flour and butter: who would have thought that a combination of those three ingredients would be so mind-blowingly addictive?

I don’t care for crisps. Weird, I know, but even in the pub over the third pint I am the only one not reaching into the torn packet in the middle of the table. Peanuts – I can take or leave them but enough said that I never say or think ‘I fancy some salted peanuts’. Salted pistachios are tempting, but they shred my fingernails whilst shelling. And chocolate has never been my drug of choice.

But when it comes to cheesy pastry bites, savoury crackers, Parmesan thins, hell! even Mini Cheddars! I’m gone and lost for ever. Can’t stop.

cheese buttons

My cheesy Valentine

I was never that familiar with homemade cheese biscuits until I met The Weather Man.

The thing is, my Grandma who was probably responsible for my baking education, if unawares at the time, didn’t bother with such common bakes. Hers was the world of triple layered cakes and strudels, with no respect for muffins or cheese biscuits.

And I certainly inherited her disdain for bakes consisting of how many? just three ingredients? without separating eggs and beating butter until fluffy? You can’t call that proper baking!

But one of the first things The Weather Man baked for me were cheese biscuits. At the time, let’s be honest, it was the only thing he could bake. But I was impressed – and hooked.

You’ll find several different recipes for cheesy bites below and elsewhere on the blog, but these little numbers are quite outstanding. Crunchy, peppery, with a hint of garlic.

The button holes make them quirky, and the pastry is simple and quick to make. I found the recipe in Short and Sweet cookbook by Dan Lepard.

cheesy savoury biscuits

How to make the cheese pastry

This is super easy, and it actually makes versatile shortcrust, cheesy pastry that can be used elsewhere in tarts or pies.

Start with garlic butter, by mashing the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt.

Then beat it with softened butter, mix in the cheeses and knead the flour in lightly. As always, pastry has to chill in the fridge to relax and not crumble to nothing when shaped.

cheese pastry

Shaping the buttons

The recipe below shows the easiest, rustic method of shaping them: pinch walnut-sized chunks of dough, roll them into balls then flatten with a palette knife, rolling pin or just fingers. Poke holes in each and that’s a handsome batch of buttons done.

shaping buttons

You can also roll the pastry into a log, then slice into discs.

And the most laborious but the least imperfect way: roll the pastry out and cut buttons with a pastry cutter.

In either way, bake them for about twenty minutes until just coloured around the sides.

button shaped cheese biscuits

More cheese biscuit recipes

The best cheese biscuits with flaky, shortcrust pastry made from scratch, swirled around copious quantity of grated cheese. They are much better made with cream cheese pastry than puff pastry and not nearly as greasy.

Easy cheesy oregano cheese straws from homemade shortcrust pastry; flaky, buttery and melting in a mouth. Everyone’s all-time best ever favourite snack.

Blue cheese and oat biscuits. These savoury cheese and oatmeal cookies are easy to make and taste nicely different than ordinary cheese straws.

More cracker recipes

Olive and seaweed crackers recipe. These are very moreish savoury biscuits aka crackers with Parmesan, olives and capers, seasoned with dried seaweed flakes and black pepper.

Seeded oatcakes with poppy and sesame seeds, naturally gluten free, wholesome and gut-friendly. Oatmeal, boiling water and a little butter – it takes you back to making mud cakes!

Crunchy seed crackers made with a mix of 7 seeds, gluten free and keto-friendly if you skip millet grain. Great as a snack, broken over a salad for a topping or served on a cheese board.

cheese cracker buttons

Cheese and black pepper buttons

Servings: makes about 30 small biscuitsTime: 1 hour plus chilling pastry


  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 75g (5½ tbsp) butter, softened
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 50g (½ cup) grated Parmesan
  • 50g (½ cup) grated hard cheese, Gruyere or Cheddar
  • 100g (¾ cup) plain flour


1. Peel the garlic clove, chop it roughly, sprinkle with the salt on a chopping board and press with a knife blade, dragging it around the board until it turns to a paste.

2. Beat the butter with the pepper and garlic. Add both cheeses and flour and knead to a dough, add 1-2 tbsp water if it looks too dry. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for half an hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/gas 2½. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

4. Scoop chunks of the dough and shape them into small balls, about the size of a walnut. Arrange them on the baking sheet, spaced apart. Flatten each one with your fingers or a palette knife, then poke 4 holes in each biscuit with a skewer, like button holes.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden.

Originally published: Sun, 10 July, 2016

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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