Several months ago, in a year that feels far, far away but couldn’t have been but one or two ago, my coworker John linked a recipe on our company chat program and asked me and sis blogging partner to make it. He’s not the only coworker of mine that is fond of asking us to make something for the benefit of my department at the office. I looked at the recipe and immediately was like, yeah, suuuuure. We’ll get right on that. Now, many, many promises later, we have made the recipe!
John, these crackers are for you, dude. Yeah, you had to quit our company and move far away to prompt me onto my lazy toes, but hey, better late than never, right?
I actually bought the ingredients to make these just a couple of months ago, but the road paved with good cooking intentions often finds itself lit afire. It turned out to be way too busy a weekend to fit in homemade crackers, and the ingredients eventually got used for something else.
You don’t need a whole lot of extras to make these. I’d hazard a guess at most of you savvy people having just about everything in your pantry already. You smart people, you! You subconsciously always knew you were going to make cheesy delicious crackers.
Lookit, the stage where the recipe looks like a horrible, messy mistake! What’s great is that you did it absolutely right. High five, fellow messerator.
We doubled the recipe, so we had two lumps of cheese to roll out. As Napoleon Dynamite likes to say: Luckyyyyy… or is it luckeeeee? Eh. Whatevs.
After rolling the dough to about an eighth of an inch thick, you get to play with that nifty fluted pastry cutter thingy! Wheeee! Lookit them crackers being formed. Not uniform, mind you. Naw. We didn’t worry too much about them being the same size. At all.
Down with conformity!
See? Many different sizes: Mamas and Papas, baby crackers, slender crackers, fat crackers. It doesn’t really matter. Kind of like how lumps in the gravy tells you it’s real? Crackers having no discerning one shape or size let’s you know they’re real, too.
Real crackers, just baked and ready to be realized by you.
Know what else tells you they’re real? Getting to eat them. BOOM.
Being homemade, obviously they’re not going to taste like they came out of that red store package that says Get Your Own Box and has It in it’s name, but we think these taste pretty good anyway. So does everyone else who sampled them. Which means our heads have grown because of all the compliments we got. Not really. Maybe a little.
These taste best the day they’re made, but store them in as airtight a container as possible if you’ve got leftovers. Enjoy!
Homemade Cheese Crackers
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 17 minutes (plus chill time for the dough) Level: Easy Makes: A couple or so dozen
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
- ½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons ice water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cheddar, butter, and salt until soft and combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed (the dough will be dry and pebbly). Slowly add the water and continue to mix as the dough forms a ball.
Pat the dough into a disk, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into a very thin (1/8 inch or less) 10 x 12-inch rectangle. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut the rectangles into 1-inch squares, then transfer to the baking sheets. Use the tip of a chopstick to punch a hole into the center of each square.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until puffed and browning at the edges. Watch carefully, as the high fat content of the crackers makes it a fine line between golden delicious and burnt. Immediately move the crackers to racks to cool.
I seem to be the world’s worst patry-roller-outer person, and ours resembled more a super-sized amoeba rather than a rectangle. If you have small pieces that branch off from your dough as your rolling it, just break them off, squish them back into the main part of the dough and roll that section some more to reincorporate it all together again. We still had to cut some pieces off and set them aside to try to make as even a cracker shape as possible. If you do this, you can recombine the loose pieces like play dough and just roll them out again and make more crackers.
If you don’t have the fluted pastry cutter you can always use a small sharp paring knife to slice your cracker shapes. The fluted edged cutters just make ‘em look a little fancier and is a little more convenient because of the rolling motion.