05 September 2012

Homemade Spicy Cheese Crackers

One of the best things about writing my blog is that I finally have an excuse to make all those recipes I never got around to making pre-blog, like these cheese crackers.  My children inhale the store-bought variety like crazy, so I never took the time to make them since I figured my kids would eat them all anyway.  I decided to have a whirl tonight while my kids were at the grandparents' house and I sure am glad I finally took the time.

my lovely spicy edam
There are recipes for homemade cheese crackers all over.  I see them almost daily on Pinterest, so I wanted to try something that was similar to, but didn't exactly mimic those store bought crackers.  I went to the grocery store specifically to find some good cracker makin' cheese.  I walked out with a wedge of spicy Edam.  It was speckled with little bits of peppers, solidly moving these crackers out of kiddo territory. Edam is my husband's favorite cheese, since it's what he grew up eating with his grandfather, so that pretty much ensured that even if the kids could take the heat from the peppers, my husband would make sure that the lion's share were his.

my nifty pastry cutter -- you can use
a sharp knife if you don't have one of these
Homemade cheese crackers are SO much better than you will ever get out of a box.  They are super easy, too.  The flavor of the cheese is a little more subtle, especially since Edam is a more subtly flavored cheese than the cheddar used for the boxed varieties.  You also get a lot more depth of flavor since you can customize what you put in there.  I used the spicy Edam, salt, black pepper, and little garlic powder.  You can be adventurous and add just about any spice or herb.  Stick with a relatively firm cheese, though.  If your cheese's consistency is different from cheddar, you will need to adjust the amount of half and half accordingly.  A creamier cheese will need less liquid and vice versa.  The texture of these is also another factor that should drive you into your kitchen -- they're lighter and fluffier without that slight over-crunchiness you get out of a box.

Are you gonna try these out?  If so, I would like to know if you put your own spin on the cheese cracker.  Send me your good ideas; I would love to hear what you're cooking up.

Homemade Spicy Cheese Crackers
Makes about 80 crackers

Print me, Please!!!

6 oz cheese, cut into chunks
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3-5 Tbsp half and half

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil that has been coated lightly with nonstick spray.

don't be afraid to flour your surface
In the bowl of a food processor, add your cheese.  Pulse until the cheese is in relatively uniform small bits.  Add the butter, flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Process until the mixture is in coarse crumbs.  Add 3 Tbsp of half and half.  Process until well combined.  If your dough is still crumbly, add more half and half, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is no longer crumbly and will hold together in a nice ball.

i made some with straight and some
with wavy edges.
Give a good, flat surface a fairly generous dusting of flour.  Lightly flour your rolling pin.  Roll the dough out to 1/16" or so thick  You don't have to be too precise.  Don't roll it so thin you can see through it, but not too thick.  With your pastry wheel or very sharp knife, cut the dough into squares.  Transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheet.  They don't spread out, so you can put them pretty close together.  If they stick a little, you can use your knife to help lift them off the counter.  Using a skewer or toothpick, poke a little hole in the center of each cracker.  Sprinkle the crackers with a little more salt.

Bake for 15-16 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Remove from the oven.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

1 comment:

  1. These are great!! Need more please



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