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Cheese Crackers

June 21, 2010

Looking for a homemade snack that’s popular?  These cheese crackers are just the ticket!  As you may know (and if you don’t you will now that I am telling you) I have tried to cut out as much processed foods and prepackaged food from our home.  This goes from making homemade chips, buying fresh vegetables and fruits (not canned), making my own breads, and now even making snack items…like these cheese crackers!  I think you are going to love them as much as I do.  They were amazingly simple to make!

Tools:

Food Processor (I’m sure if you don’t have one, you can go the route of a pastry cutter (you know the ones that you use to cut butter into flour and stuff), or a whisk and some elbow grease, or even taking two knives and cutting in opposite directions to blend…that will take the longest, but it works)

Scale (I always measure my cheese by weight and not volume, I find it more accurate)

Measuring cup

Spoon

Plastic wrap

For the second “round” you’ll need

Wax paper

Rolling Pin

Cutter (use a dull knife, a pizza cutter, or, as I did, a ravioli crimper)

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose FLOUR

3/4 tsp SALT

1/2 tsp white ground PEPPER (regular is okay, white just blends in with the dough)

4 TBS cold BUTTER cut into small pieces

8 oz grated CHEDDAR CHEESE

3 to 4 TBS WATER

Directions:

Put the flour: Salt:

Pepper:

into the food processor…what?

Why yes I DID get new salt and pepper grinders.  These ones are battery operated and were a gift from my grandmother…well, she wasn’t using them anymore and asked if I wanted them…I did!  I love them!  I’m hoping my husband can manage to not break these ones with his mad muscles!

Okay, where were we?  Oh, right, the flour, salt, and pepper are in the blender.  If you don’t have white pepper, that’s okay, black will do.  The white just makes the pepper “hide” in the dough better. 

Pulse the blade a few times just to mix the salt and pepper in:

  Now add the butter:

  Pulse again until it starts to look like crumbs…something like this:

You want to make sure the butter gets mixed in real well…take a close look:

Now, weigh out the cheese (yes, I used pre-grated cheese…I know it’s better to use a block and then grate it myself, but when cheese is on sale this way budget wins over…):

  Place that cheese right into the food processor:

And you know what to do know, right?  Pulse until will blended: 

This time it will begin to look like bigger crumbs, but it won’t be ready yet.  Add ONE TABLESPOON AT A TIME into the dough starts to come together:

It’s important to only put in one tablespoon of water at a time because you won’t need all of it.  I only used 2 and a half.  It will look like this:

When you pick up some in your finger tips, you should be able to press it together and it will stay together…see:

Now, dump it out onto the counter top (a clean one):

Then press it together to make a disc shape:

If you added enough water it will easily press together…if you added too much water, it will be a sticky mess.

Now, wrap that disc in plastic wrap:

  Place in the refrigerator for AT LEAST 20 minutes:

What?  Why yes, that is Greek yogurt I am making there next to the cheese crackers…more on that later this week.  For now, focus on the cheese cracker dough.

What’s great about this is it’s real easy to throw together in the food processor and then put in the refrigerator.  While I waited for it to child, we went and had breakfast with my step-son…it was a great breakfast he made for his dad on Father’s Day..eggs, hash browns, crepes with cream cheese, orange juice…the works!  No wonder I struggled with my weight loss this week!

Oh, right, back to the crackers.  If you wanted to make these, what I’m saying is that it’s easy to make the dough (it takes about 5 minutes) then put it into the refrigerator and come back HOURS later to get to the next step…no loss!

Now, get out the wax paper, rolling pin, whatever you are going to use to cut, and your dough…Oh, and preheat the oven to 350…very important!:

I cut the dough into 4 pieces to make it easier to handle.  Place one section of dough between two sheets of wax paper:

Press the rolling pin over the dough:

  And roll out to 1/8th of an inch in thickness…just eyeball it.  I found the thinner the better for this:

Now, take your cutter (I used my ravioli crimper because, well, it makes little jagged edges and I thought that was awesome!  Cut one way:

Then the other:

Then take those little squares (and other odd pieces) or any other shape you made and lay them out on a baking sheet:

You just want to make sure the edges don’t touch so they don’t cook together…but they aren’t going to expand, so just lay them out.  I was able to get all of them onto two trays. 

Place in the oven:

And wait 15-20 minutes.  The smells will start to come out and you will SWEAR you’re in the brand name cheese cracker factory…seriously! 

Then take them out when they look like this:

    Let them cool on the rack.  They may still be a bit doughy when you take them out…that’s okay. As they cool they will crisp up a bit more.  If you like them crisper, just leave them in longer the next time!  Oh, there WILL be a next time!

My Comments:

This was much easier than I thought it was going to be.  I thought it was going to be a long drawn out process and I was amazed at how quick it was…making it a definite snack in my repertoire to make.  My husband enjoyed them as well.  This is a definite winner. So, tell me, what’s your favorite snack cracker?

Recipe:

1 cup all purpose FLOUR

3/4 tsp SALT

1/2 tsp white ground PEPPER (regular is okay, white just blends in with the dough)

4 TBS cold BUTTER cut into small pieces

8 oz grated CHEDDAR CHEESE

3 to 4 TBS WATER

Put flour, salt and pepper into a food processor, pulse once or twice to mix

Add butter and pulse until the mixture looks like crumbs

Add the grated cheese and pulse until well mixed

Add the water 1 TBS at a time while pulsing until the dough starts to make clumps and come together

Take the dough out of the food processor and press into a disc shape, wrap the disc with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350

Divide the dough into quarter and roll each quarter out individually between two sheets of waxed paper to 1/8th inch thickness.

Once the dough is rolled out, remove the top layer of wax paper and using a blunt tool (i.e. blunt end of knife, pizza cutter, etc…) cut the dough into any shape

Lay out on an ungreased baking sheet without the edges touching

Bake 15-20 minutes

Let cool on the baking sheet, once cool remove from the tray and store in air-tight container

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