Wednesday, October 27, 2010

wonderful, delicious homemade CHEESE crackers!


a great way to use your mini cookie cutters...or larger ones..or make cheese straws that look like French fries. I made a batch for the first time tonight and WOW...they are the BEST gourmet tasting cheese/spicy cracker I have ever had! I doubt I ever buy store bought crackers anymore! These are soooo good....the house smells so wonderful...and you could make so many varieties! I added cheddar cheese, American, Parmesan and dill seed to mine....AND pepper flakes. WOW!! Here is the recipe:

Here is the main recipe but feel free to change it up to suit your taste!

Cheese straw dough/cracker recipe:

•1 1/2 cups (about 4 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
...•4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
•3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
•1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
•1 tablespoon half-and-half

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper and process in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half. Process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

(I do not have a food processor but you could use a mixer and/or bread machine ....I just cut in the butter like you do for pastry using a fork)

3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8-X-10-inch rectangle that is 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into long, thin strips, 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide (dipping the knife in flour after every few inches ensures a clean cut). Gently transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving 1/4 inch between them. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.

4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven, and set on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature.
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OR USE your cookie cutters as below directions!!

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s 1/8-inch thick, and cut as many leaves as you can. Transfer the leaves to a baking sheet lined with Silpat®, and chill them in the fridge for three minutes. Then bake them at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are barely browned.

When the crackers cool they’re intensely cheesy, buttery, spicy, crunchy, addictive, drool-inspiring, and yes, lovely.

OH MY ...I cannot describe how GOURMET these crackers taste and how quick and easy they were to make! I did not use half-n-half as I did not have any..I used 2% milk and I used regular cookie sheet with NO Silpat...they still turned out soooo yummy and did NOT stick to my cookie sheets.