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Collier’s Cheese and Bacon Twists

These. Are. AMAZING…!

I know it’s not the done thing to rave about your own work, but I honestly this that anyone would love these sticks of delicious pastry, cheese and bacon. Well, anyone who isn’t vegetarian anyway. Munch them for lunch with a side salad, on a picnic with loved ones or even just in front of the TV in the evening. However you eat them, you’re sure to be left with a lap full of crumbs and a craving for more!

These twists are essentially made from just 3 ingredients, which means that the quality of those ingredients is super important. Get that wrong and it’ll be really quite obvious.

Back in March of this year, I was invited by Collier’s Cheese to Wales to learn about their fantastic Welsh cheddar. I didn’t realise until the trip that a collier was actually someone who worked in a mine and the cheese is designed to be something that is hearty and full-flavoured enough to satisfy even the hardest working collier. The word they use is ‘powerful’ and I can’t think of a better way to describe it myself! A delicious, strong cheese with a great texture that doesn’t crumble to nothing or stick to your teeth.

I’ll be writing more about the trip over the coming month or so but if you want to learn more about Coller’s Cheddar, check out this little video from founder Chris Swire.

For this recipe, you really do need a powerful cheese like Collier’s to make it work. They need a punchy cheese to work with the strong flavour of the smoked bacon. Get that right and they are perfection.

It’s also important that the right bacon is used. You see, most bacon you buy in the supermarkets is ‘wet cured’ meaning that the meat is cured by immersing in a curing solution. This keeps the moisture in the meat and quite often with this method the meat is also injected with more water before slicing. However, most of the ‘premium’ bacon is instead ‘dry cured’ with a rub, removing some of the water and firming up the meat; it tends to produce a bacon with a much better flavour and also with a much lower water content.

Anyone who’s ever seen The Great British Bake Off knows how much of a disaster excess moisture is when working with pastry. Mary Berry is not impressed by soggy bottoms and neither am I! So, be sure to use dry cured streaky bacon in this recipe and avoid a stodgy, soggy mess. You can find this in most of the supermarkets under their ‘premium’ label, or you could cure and smoke your own if you’re feeling adventurous!

Making the twists is super simple, but the below pics are a good visual aid if you can’t picture how to twist them properly. However you do it, they’ll still taste wonderful anyway!

So that’s quite enough talking from me. On to the recipe…

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Collier’s Cheese and Bacon Twists
Perfect for lunches, picnics and TV snacks, these twists are sure to be a hit with everyone. Except vegetarians.
  • 1 pack ready-rolled puff pastry, left to come to room temperature
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g Collier’s cheddar cheese
  • 10 rashers dry cured, smoked streaky bacon
  • A few twists black pepper
1. Unroll the pastry from the pack and brush all over with the beaten egg. 2. Sprinkle over the grated cheese and lay the bacon on top. Put the slices as close together as possible; bacon shrinks as it cooks and if you leave space between the rashers you’ll end up with twists that are all pastry and no bacon! Grind over some black pepper if desired. 3. Using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut into individual slices and twist over twice to form the twisted shape required. 4. Lay onto lined baking sheets, then place in the fridge for 20mins to allow the pastry to firm up. Whilst the pastry rests, preheat the oven to 200C. 5. Remove the twists from the fridge and brush the exposed pastry parts with beaten egg to give them a golden colour when baked. Don’t brush over the bacon or it’ll have an unappetising white colour when cooked. 6. Bake for 15-20mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for 5mins then remove to a cooling rack. Eat when just warm or cold. 7. Best eaten on the day of cooking, but can be kept for a couple of days in the fridge in an airtight container. To crisp up, place back in the oven for a few minutes.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Around 10 twists

If you fancy trying your hand at more pastry-based treats, have a look at these recipes from fellow bloggers:

I was invited to Wales to try Collier’s Cheese and learn about its history free of charge. However, I wasn’t asked to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. I wasn’t commissioned to write this recipe, but I did because I believe Collier’s Cheese is excellent for these twists!

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