I made these cheese crackers a while ago, inspired by Hannah’s version at Honey & Jam, looking for something to snack on one night. And the fact that I’ve waited so long to tell you about them has nothing to do with how savory and soft they were, like Cheese Nips but better!, and much more to do with how short my attention span is becoming.
Like, right now: as this post publishes, while you’re reading about these cheese crackers, I am either on my way to or at the airport, headed to Florida, not two weeks after returning from Nashville. I’m going to see some friends and their families, as well as attend (at least if the weather cooperates) the Kumquat Festival in Dade City.
I mean, really. The Kumquat Festival?
I don’t even know how this all happened except that my friends Elizabeth and Rachel, both of whom I lived with in college but at different colleges in different states, now live in the same place and that place is Florida and, I don’t know if you’re aware, but it’s freezing cold and snowy here, so Florida is definitely the place to go to for the weekend.
I’ll be back next week, hopefully with lots to tell you about kumquats and sunshine and weather that does not require a winter coat, but until then, I’ll leave you with these.
Adapted from Honey & Jam
1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces?
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon half-and-half (I used heavy cream)
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt, paprika and red pepper, pulsing until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
Add the cream and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds (or you could also use a pastry cutter and do it by hand).
Shape the dough into a flat round (or into a log, like Hannah did, which makes for quick slicing later), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least an hour, up to a day) or to be quick, freeze for 20 minutes (what I did).
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Remove the dough from the fridge, roll out with a floured rolling pin, and cut out shapes (I used the bottom of a mason jar).
If you shaped it into a log, then you could just slice it thinly and arrange the slices on the prepared sheet. You will need to work in batches; return the dough to the fridge between batches.
Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, depending on your oven and the thickness of your slices, until golden. Let the cheese thins rest on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.