Carbs + Cheese = Kristin heaven. Seriously… I don’t think there are any better comfort foods than those with cheese, to me. I have seen cheddar cheese cracker recipes floating around and gave them a shot, but I wasn’t all that pleased with the plain cheddar flavor. Being the cheese lover I am, I had lots of options to play with when I started – but the awesome thing I learned is no matter what cheese I used, the crackers turned out awesome every time as long as I followed these basic steps.
#1. You must use a food processor to make the dough.
#2. You must bake the crackers on parchment paper, or silpat. No exceptions. Will it work on foil? Maybe. But parchment paper costs less than $3.00 at most stores and the results are guaranteed with its use… just use it!
#3. Chill the dough. It will make it easier to roll out, crispier, and an all around better cracker!
1 cup flour (whole wheat, white, whatever you like: seriously its all delicious)
1 tsp salt (1/2 is fine if you’re watching your sodium)
4 tbsp cold butter
8 oz cheese (OK.. so 8oz liquid is 1 cup. using that, I eyeball it sometimes. I used to weigh it, now I do it by measuring cups. one heaping cup is about right. Softer cheeses will use less water in the recipe than harder cheeses)
up to 1/2 cup cold water (you’ll pour it in slowly, you might not use it all)
Spice it up: I’ve used fresh rosemary, basil, saffron, chili powder, fresh garlic, the list goes on and on! Match your favorite cheese with a complimentary spice!
To make: Combine flour, salt, and spices (if you prefer) in the food processor, and add in butter one small cube at a time. Slowly drop in your cheese and continue to pulse until it forms a “sand” or “gritty” texture. Now, SLOWLY drizzle in cold water until it forms a ball in the processor. Wrap with plastic wrap and let sit for 2+ hours in the fridge. You can let it sit overnight, well chilled dough will bake better.
To bake: Preheat to 350° F - Roll out to 1/8″ thickness. Too thin, the crackers will be too crispy and dry; too thick they will be doughy. To check the thickness if you don’t have a ruler handy, two quarters stacked on top of each-other is just over 1/8″. Bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until crackers are golden brown. Watch them after the 10 minute mark, depending on the thickness and the cheese used, they may bake quicker, or longer!
Some of my favorite combos:
Parmesan Romano Rosemary:
Combine 2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary with 4oz (1/2 cup) parmesan and 4oz (1/2 cup) romano
Sharp Cheddar Cayenne:
8oz Sharp Cheddar, 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
Beehive Big Johns Cajun:
8oz Beehive Big John Cajun, 1 tsp chili powder
Gruyere and Garlic:
4oz (1/c cup of crumbles) Gruyere Cheese, 4oz white cheddar, 1 tsp freshly minced garlic