August 04, 2006

Spicy Cheddar Crackers

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons cold water
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper



Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325. Grease or spray with cooking spray one cookie sheet. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients to form a firm dough. Roll into a 12 inch long log* about 1 inch thick. Slice into 1/4 inch slices**. Arrange the slices on the cookie sheet, leaving about an inch of space between each cracker. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bottoms of the pennies are slightly brown and the tops are firm. Allow to cool completely before serving.


* If the dough is very sticky, refrigerate until it is firm, then slice.
** This yields a fairly thick cracker. If you slice them thinner, you may need to shorten the cooking time.


My thoughts:
I had never made crackers before so I thought I'd give it a shot. I always avoid the artificially cheese flavored crackers you see at grocery stores- too salty and orange for my taste. I have seen recipes for "cheddar coins" or "cheddar pennies" floating around for years now so I thought I'd give it a shot. I made these with white extra sharp cheddar and a bit of cayenne which lends the crackers a slightly reddish hue. The crackers are fairly thick (but small, only about 1 inch in diameter) with a strong cheddar flavor and a spicy aftertaste. If you are spice shy, you might want to cut down on the cayenne. I like things spicy (we use so much cayenne we put it in a pepper shaker for easy use!) so these are perfect for me but be warned, they produce more of a kick than you might expect. I think they would also be good if you left out the cayenne and instead topped with a bit of rosemary, sesame seeds or even some dried dill.