Simple Pleasures: Cheese Crackers

These crackers are easy ‘n cheesy.  Oh yeah, I went there.  I think all the cheese I have been eating has gone straight to my brain and jammed the signal the normally prevents me from saying nerdy -isms like that.  Good thing these puppies are totally worth it.

I happen to find myself living in a land devoid of Cheez-Its, Cheese Nips, Cheddar Goldfish, Annie’s Bunnies, or any other golden queso snacks.  I hadn’t even realized I missed them until my sister-in-law sent me a recipe.  A really easy recipe at that.  I turned more drooly than the teething Screech when I read it.  I wanted to make it that instant.  But alas, the reason we have such a lack of cheese doodads is because cheddar is like totally not popular here.

The cheddar we can consistently buy here in block or shred form is Irish Cheddar.  Delicious.  But I have to buy a gazillion bags at a time because I have only found it once place.  And this place is far away and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.  Like when we’re all out of the yellow melty stuff.  However, I discovered a decent substitute at Lidl which is neither far nor to be loathed.  I have no idea what kind of cheese it is, but it’s yellow.

Call it psychosomatic but all white cheese over here is utterly flavorless.  Maybe this mystery cheese tastes a bit like home just because of the color.  Ah well, let the discussing end and the face stuffing begin.

You could totally make these gluten free or healthier by changing up the flour.

Cheese Crackers

1 cup flour

3/4 T salt (a bit too salty for our Euro taste buds; I will do 1/2 T next time)

1/2 t white ground pepper (optional – but adds great flavor)

4 T butter, cut in pieces

8 oz grated cheddar cheese

3 to 4 T water

Pulse flour, salt+pepper, and butter in a food processor until it resembles coarse meal.  Add grated cheese a little at a time until it resembles coarse meal again.

Puffs of cheesy heaven.

Add water one tablespoon at a time, just enough to make a ball of dough.  My food processor does not have an opening in the top so it was easier for me to mix the water in by  hand in a bowl.

Here’s a look at my fancy schmancy rolling pin. I’ve been holding out thinking I don’t need one, but this is about the tenth time I’ve used this bottle. I should totally buy a rolling pin. My pizza crust will thank me. And these crackers.

Separate dough into two or three portions.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 20 mins to 24 hrs.  I couldn’t wait so I popped my dough into the freezer for 10 mins.

 

I tried to make this ball of dough pretty just for you. But the super crispy Scottish-coast-looking edges of the second batch tasted so good I won’t be making pretty crackers ever again.

Roll one ball of dough out to 1/8″ thickness directly onto the baking sheet.  My baking sheets are not fit to put anything on so I rolled mine out onto parchment paper. Use a knife or pizza cutter to make into squares.  Repeat for other balls of dough.

Puffin'.

Bake at 350F for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.  Cool.  Hide finished crackers in a secret location where little fingers cannot find them.  Then eat them Cookie-Monster style when no one is looking.  Yumyumyumyumyummmmm!

Hints from Aunt Jess:

  • The crackers wil puff up quite a bit during baking so make sure to roll them out super thin.  I definitely agree.  I tried really hard to do this on the first batch but got lazy with the second.  If you don’t make them wafer thin, you’ll end up with skinny foccacia.  Delicious, but not a cracker.
  • Adding holes to the crackers helps (a little) to keep them flat, or push them down with a fork as they bake.  I saw visions of charred flesh when I read the idea to push them down with a fork.  So I went with the holes.
  • Try adding spices (oregano, Italian seasoning, paprika, etc) or Parmesan cheese for more flavor.  I did one baking sheet plain and one with oregano and garlic.  Yummmm.  I think a taco seasoning one would be great.  The only Parmesan we have here is the real deal – Parmigiano Reggiano which costs as much as going to Italy and getting it yourself.  So, we’ll stick to spices.
  • Use less butter to cut down on oil in finished crackers.  I’ll experiment with this next time.
  • Enjoy!  You betcha!

A bright spot on a cloudy day.

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One thought on “Simple Pleasures: Cheese Crackers

  1. Pingback: Craving Convenience « Thrifty Travel Mama

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