Kids love making pastry - getting their hands covered in flour and stuff mixing all of the ingredients together. They like the rolling-out and cutting even more. This recipe works well using a food processor to mix the pastry ingredients - so they can jump directly to the really fun bit! Appropriate parental supervision during the preparation is of course required.
Put 4 ounces of plain flour, two ounces of butter (chopped into rough lumps) and three ounces of grated cheese into a food processor. Add a pinch of salt. Process intermittently, using a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are well-mixed, until the mixture forms a smooth thick paste.
Traditionally, pastry is rested before being rolled out. So, gather the mix into a rough ball with your hands (and a spatula for the odd corners!) and stick it in the fridge on a plate for ten minutes.
Time for the rolling pin! Rollout of the pastry on a flat surface which has been sprinkled with flour. Make sure you turn the pastry over and keep a little flour between it and the surface. Once evenly flattened to about 3mm thick, use pastry cutters to make shapes. We have acquired a wide collection of cutters in amusing shapes over the years - but the "Batman" logo bat shape is by far the most popular - hence the name of this dish!
Put the cut shapes on a metal baking tray which has been rubbed down with a little cooking oil (use a kitchen paper towel!). Decorate as you like - all sorts of toppings work well. Pieces of tinned anchovy (drain well first) and chopped green and black olives can be used to give eyes and other features to the shapes. Use your imagination!
Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200C (gas mark 6) for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, rest for one minute (to help release the pastry from the tin) then scoop out and cool on a wire rack.
These pastries will keep for a few days in an air-tight container - although, in our house, they seem to disappear