Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spicy Cheese Crackers

I've been super lazy lately.  I haven't cooked, I haven't cleaned, I haven't done anything productive at all.  I think it's the I'm-fed-up-with-winter laziness.  That's a thing right?  Anyway, the other day I MADE myself cook something.  But another side effect of this laziness is that I haven't been to the store in the last 2 weeks.  So, with my limited supplies, I made these delicious crackers.  Honestly, I didn't really know people made crackers at home.  I guess that's a dumb thing to think, like Ritz invented the cracker in the 50's or something?  But crackers made from scratch are way better (of course) than the ones you get in a box.  These are buttery and crispy and cheesy and awesome.

This is a really simple recipe.  It took about ten minutes of hands-on time and then about 20 minutes in the oven and that's it.  This is also a jumping off point for making other flavors of crackers.  I think my next will be parmesan and rosemary.  But for my first cracker attempt, I went with a cheddar cheese cracker with some cumin and paprika.  Here's the recipe:

Spicy Cheese Crackers

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup flour
6 tablespoons water

In a stand mixer, mix cheese, butter and spices.  Add flour and combine.  The mixture will be clumpy.  Mix in water.  Form dough into a ball.

Place ball of dough on a floured surface.  Roll dough out into a thin sheet.  Try to get it down to 1/8 of an inch thick.  I could only get mine down to about 1/4 of an inch.

Now slice into squares 1 inch by 3 inches.  Use a fork to poke holes in the top of each cracker (this is decorative, not super necessary).  Place crackers on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.
Place crackers in a 375 degree oven.  Cook until they start to brown on the top.  This took my crackers about 20 minutes.  The next day, I felt like they were a little too soft, so I baked them for another ten minutes.  I like a crispy cracker.  But you might like yours a little softer.

That's it!  Homemade crackers!  I was pretty pleased with these.  Like I said, I'm looking forward to using this recipe to make different flavored crackers.  But this cheddar cheese cracker is a classic.  Buttery, salty, cheesy goodness.

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