The following cheddar crackers will delight anyone who loves cheese crackers, but doesn’t want to munch on the commercial ones (which, actually hardly have any real cheese in them!). The amount given here may seem like a lot, but these tasty morsels are fairly small and on top of it, they are alarmingly addictive and tend to disappear very quickly, so it makes sense to prepare a large batch of them. Try them and enjoy.
* I’ve used Vermont Cabot cheddar, which I particularly like, but any other all natural sharp cheddar will do.
* For those concerned about the yellow coloring – no need to be. Annatto, the coloring agent, is an all natural food coloring, derived from the seeds of the achiote trees. However, if you’re still reluctant to use it, you can substitute the yellow cheddar with with same amount of white cheddar. The result will be less golden than in the photos, but just as tasty.
Makes: about 140
Prep time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours, preferably overnight
Baking time: 13-15 minutes
8 oz (225 grams) extra sharp white cheddar cheese, cut in large pieces
8 oz (225 grams) sharp yellow cheddar cheese, cut in large pieces
2 Tbs flour
1 stick (115 grams) butter, cold, cut in large pieces
2 cups flour
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
About ¾ cup very cold water
1. Place the cheeses with 2 Tbs flour in a food processor, fitted with metal blade. Process to a somewhat coarse texture and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Place the butter, 2 cups flour, salt and rosemary in the food processor with the metal blade. Process coarsely and add to the bowl with the cheese.
3. Mix together and gradually add the water. Knead briefly, just until the dough holds together. The less you handle the dough, the crumblier the result will be.
4. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Line a work surface with wax paper and place one part of the dough on it. Place another sheet of wax paper on top and roll to a flat and thin sheet. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough. Place the sheets of dough, with the wax paper, in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
5. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Place one sheet of dough over a large cutting board and carefully remove the wax paper from both sides.
6. Cut with a sharp knife to form rectangles of about 2”(5cm) x 0.3”(1 cm) each. Place in one layer on a cookie pan, lined with baking paper. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
7. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the crackers are golden and crisp.
Don’t throw away the leftover cut dough! Place it in a bowl and knead briefly. Roll into a log and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Slice into thin rounds and bake for 15 minutes.
These crackers will not be as crumbly as the first batch, but will be tasty enough for you to nibble on…