Smokey Cheddar Crackers

June 26, 2014

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I made these crackers a little while ago now.  I didn’t like them.  Not exactly because of the recipe, but because I didn’t follow instructions.  The recipe called for Parmesan.  I had a really old block that was so, so hard, it wouldn’t grate.  But waste, I would not do!  So I cubed it instead, and threw them in my cracker dough.  Hard, chewy pieces of Parmesan cheese, nestled inside a flaky cracker, is not the most welcome surprise.  They were not good, people.  And it was my fault.

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It was that memory that was preventing me from posting.  But this was an easy fix!  Use fresh cheese!  In fact, this should be your mantra whenever you’re cooking with cheese, so this advice is fully applicable to all cheese-worthy recipes.  You’re welcome.

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I made these again, with a newly-bought fresh block of parm, and they were great.  Perhaps a great addition to your summer picnic spread, eh?  Perhaps a great addition to your afternoon snack?  Perhaps you should make these!

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Smoky Cheddar Crackers (adapted from Serious Eats)

The truth is that I didn’t like these partly because of the recipe.  I thought that there was way too much smoked paprika, making these crackers almost bitter.  I reduced it, by a lot, and like them better, by a lot.  Also, because of the amount of cheese involved, there is very little, if any, salt needed.  The original recipe suggested sprinkling the crackers with smoked sea salt before baking.  This was over-the-top salty for me.  I tried it without and it much more fit my steeze.  Feel free to do it if you like that salty bite.

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 oz. Parmesan, grated

3 oz. sharp Cheddar, grated

1 cup all purpose flour

1.5 tsp. smoked paprika

ground black pepper, to taste

Work in both cheeses into the butter, until fully incorporated.  Add flour, smoked paprika and black butter and stir together with a wooden spoon until the dough is completely uniform.

Chill for one hour.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Take dough out of refrigerator.  Scoop out tablespoon size balls and flatten into a disc, about 1/8 inch in thickness.  Place on prepared baking sheet.  Continue until all the dough has been used.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crackers have crisped and are starting to turn brown around the edges.  Let cool completely on the baking sheet.

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