- 1 1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
- 150 gram butter, chilled, chopped
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 26 beer nuts
- 4 egg whites
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- icing sugar, for dusting
- 1Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
- 2Process flour, butter, cheese and cayenne pepper together in a food processor, until mixture forms a firm dough. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- 3Mould 1 tablespoon of mixture into the shape of a crooked finger. Arrange on trays. Repeat with remaining dough. Press peanuts into tips to form fingernails.
- 4Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden. Cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 5Preheat oven to slow, 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
- 6In a small, clean bowl, beat egg-whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar dissolves and mixture is thick and glossy. Beat in vinegar and vanilla.
- 7Fit a large piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe mixture into 8cm long bones on trays (pipe a figure 8 at each end).
- 8Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven to very slow, 120°C (100°C fan-forced). Bake further 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool in a turned-off oven, with door ajar. Serve dusted with icing sugar.
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