Occasionally, but not often enough, my girlfriends from college come over for what we call Wine Night. It’s not nearly as pretentious as it sounds. We grab a couple of bottles of wines, some cheese, some fruit, some cured meats, some bread, and just sit around catching up. It’s the most relaxing way to entertain because everything can be bought and it’s easy for everyone to contribute. Everything is cold or room temperature so no stress over people arriving on time. Sometimes I make something and sometimes I don’t.

Cheddar Cheese Cracker Stacks 2

For this one, I spotted a Cheddar Cheese Cracker recipe in the Tartine cookbook. It actually has a little section called “With a Glass of Wine”. The genius behind these salty cheesy crackers is the use of nuts to keep it crunchy and crumbly. You don’t really taste it because the sharp cheddar is the dominating flavor. I made a few alterations and the recipe seems like one you could really play with (although the author warms to use a cheese similar in butterfat and hardness).

Cheddar Cheese Crackers
~makes 50 crackers

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt ( I might use a drop less next time.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/3 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softenend
  • 2/3 cup (medium-fine) chopped pecans

Instructions -

1. Sift flour, salt, ancho chili, and balck pepper into a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment, combine the cheese and butter on medium speed, until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix in walnuts on low speed. (You can do this all by hand but the resulting dough will be a bit stiff and hard to mix.)

cheddar cracker dough 2

3. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap, and roll into a log (a little more than 1″ in diameter). Wrap and freeze for 2 hours.

cracker dough log 2

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F 30 minutes before baking. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat liner.

5. Unwrap the log and slice into 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick discs. Arrange the crackers on baking sheet about 1″ apart.

before baking cheddar cracker

6. Bake the crackers for 7-10  minutes, or until edges are golden brown and lighter in the center. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. The crackers can be kept in an airtight container, in a cool dry place, for 2 weeks.

stack of Cheddar Crackers

Notes: For more perfect circles, flatten the dough into a disc and chill for 1 hour, instead of making a log and freezing. When the dough is ready, roll it out and cut with a cookie cutter. I kind of like the rustic look though…

posted by jessica at 04:49 PM Filed under American, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.