Melt-in-your-mouth Homemade Cheese Crackers!
By Kath Dedon
Cheese crackers! Who doesn’t love them? I had some Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar and decided I’d try to make my own. I adapted Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Cheese Straws (which Deb adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook). I decided to cut the dough into little bite-sized squares. (Kind of like the crackers that come in the red box.)
Well, I now have a new favorite homemade cheese snack! These cheese crackers have a terrific cheesy, tangy flavor. They’re not as crisp as commercial crackers; they have a flaky tenderness similar to what you’d get if you baked little squares of pie crust. The amount of red pepper flakes is just right to give them a bit of a tang without adding heat.
This recipe is super-simple if you have a food processor. If you don’t, you could probably use a pastry blender to mix it together.
Deb advises that these will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 2 days. The recipe doesn’t really make very many, so I can’t imagine they would last 2 days.
I had fun staging the photo with the martinis , but we’re not eating the crackers tonight. I’m packing them up in a plastic container; they’ll make a terrific snack for tomorrow’s hike!
(Adapted from a recipe on smittenkitchen.com, which was credited to a recipe in The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook)
Makes about 70 (1-inch square) crackers
1½ cups (6 oz) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
¾ cup (90 g) flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon milk
A little over 6 ounces of cheese – close enough!
1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
2. Put everything except the milk in a food processor. Pulse the processor, 5 seconds at a time, for about 5 or 6 times, until the dough is in coarse crumbs.
3. Add the milk and process until the dough gathers together in a ball.
4. Roll the dough out on a floured board with a rolling pin that has been floured until it is about 1/8 inch thick. (Deb suggested an 8×10 rectangle.)
5. Cut the dough into 1-inch squares with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. You can put a bit of flour on the blade of the knife to keep it from sticking.Use the flat end of a wooden skewer to poke a hole in the center of each cracker.
6. Place the crackers at least ¼ inch apart on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
7. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown. (Mine took 13 minutes.)
8. Put the baking sheet on a rack and let the crackers cool completely.
9. Eat! Or store in a covered container to eat within a day or two.