Grace Elkus Grace Elkus
October 19, 2014

I’ll admit it—I like frozen veggie burgers. I eat pre-packaged oatmeal and pop my popcorn in the microwave. My pasta sauce occasionally comes from a jar. But when it comes to baking from scratch, I’m your girl.

To me, there’s nothing better than rolling out pizza dough or brewing fresh coffee for a rich chocolate cake batter. Homemade English muffins excite me. Scones make me giddy. And these crackers? Well, they open up a whole new range of savory baking possibilities.

These cheese crackers are reminiscent of Goldfish, but their extra-sharp cheddar flavor gives them Cheez-It-like cheesiness. It’s a super simple kitchen project the whole family can take part in—kids will love rolling out the dough and crafting fun cracker shapes. Sugar cookies should share their cookie cutters more often!

I made one batch with cheddar, one with white cheddar, and one with garlic powder and cayenne for a kick of spice. All options are listed below.

Makes 75-100 crackers, depending on their size.

Ingredients

Homemade Cheese Crackers4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter8 oz. extra-sharp cheddar or white cheddar cheese½ tsp. saltFreshly ground black pepper½ cup whole-wheat flour½ cup all-purpose flour1 tbsp. cold water

Extra-Spicy Cheese CrackersAll the ingredients above, plus:1/4 tsp. garlic powder1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, plus more for sprinkling

Step 1: Grate the cheese and cut the butter into small pieces. Place the cheese, butter, salt, and a few grinds black pepper in the food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the mixture comes together. Add the flours one at a time, processing until the mixture becomes crumbly. Pour in the cold water and process until a large dough ball forms. The dough should be soft and malleable.

Step 2: If you’re making the spicy crackers, add the garlic and cayenne pepper to the dough, kneading it in with your hands until well incorporated. Split the dough into two balls, flatten into disks, and wrap each disk with plastic wrap. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Step 3: When the dough is finished chilling, preheat the oven to 375º F. Roll out the dough until it’s thin but not paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick. If they are cut too thick, the crackers will be less crispy and more bread-like. Cut the crackers using a cookie cutter of your choice, or use a knife to cut squares or triangles.

 Step 4: Place the cutouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the second disk of dough. If making the spicy crackers, sprinkle a pinch of cayenne over the crackers.

Step 5: Bake for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days, although they are best when fresh. Re-crisp in the oven or toaster oven if desired.

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