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Rec: Cheddar Cheese Crackers

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Joined: Dec 9, 2005


Posted to Thread #16508 at 3:52 pm on Oct 18, 2009

Pat's note: These are thin and coin-sized and have a really nice flavor, not bland at all like I find many homemade crackers to be. The chef who brought them to a party I attended said she used Cabot sharp cheese.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers

3/4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2-1/3 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped medium fine

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cheese and butter and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix in the walnuts on low speed. The dough should be fairly stiff, with small chunks of cheese and walnut visible. You can do these same steps with a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon, mixing the ingredients in the same order.

Transfer the dough to parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap well and freeze until hard, about 2 hours. Or, gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap well in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm but still pliable, about 1 hour.

Gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap well in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm but still pliable, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner.

Unwrap the log and cut crosswise into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. If you have shaped the dough into a disk, unwrap, place on a floured work surface, and roll out into a square or rectangle 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch squares, 1-by-2-inch rectangles, or whatever shape you like. Arrange the crackers on the prepared pan, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

Bake the crackers until golden brown on the edges and lighter in the center, 7-10 minutes, depending on size and thickness. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. The crackers will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

Blue Cheese variation: Make dough as directed, substituting 2 cups (8 oz) crumbled blue cheese for the cheddar and 1 teaspoon crumbled dried or minced fresh sage for the cayenne pepper.

Yield: about 50 1-inch round crackers

Source: Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson

Book notes: Be careful with cheese substitutions. A cheese with a high butterfat content, such as Brie or Camembert, will not work. Neither will very hard cheeses, such as aged pecorino, although you may add a few tablespoons of a hard aged cheese for flavor.

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