July 16, 2010

Homemade Cheese Crackers

Ya know the cheese crackers you buy at the grocery store? You know the one's you can't stop eating and are a huge hit at parties? OK, well I decided to make some of those. The reason you ask? Not really sure, other than I like to challenge myself. Actually, I really wanted to see if they were difficult because I was thinking perhaps they'd be a better snack option for my daughter. Turns out I was right. These have a ton fewer ingredients then the box from the store and they taste pretty darn good. I took them to work and had my co-workers try them and they all seemed to like them. I think the next time I make these I'll add some salt to the tops right as they come out of the oven. One of my other co-workers suggested making them spicier, like a cheese straw which I think would be delicious. As you can see in the picture above, my friend Amanda located some cheese powder from a Farmers Market a couple of hours from here and picked it up for me. I've seen cheese powder you can order online too, next time I'm going to get white cheese powder and see if it makes any difference in flavor.

The dough is very simple. Just add some flour, cheese powder, baking soda and salt together and combine. Next add the cold unsalted butter and use either a fork or a pastry blender until they look like wet sand. Next add the vinegar and the water until a dough forms. I did like the recipe said and used my hands to really get this mixed together as the flour didn't seem to want to combine very well at the bottom of the bowl.

Next, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

After the dough is chilled, take it out and cut it in half. Now roll one half out as thin as possible on a floured piece of parchment paper. These will puff up a little once baked so thinner is better. I used a pizza cutter to cut them into approximately 1 inch squares. Now poke the tops with a fork so the air can escape and they don't blow up like balloons! Now repeat with the second half of the dough.

Bake the squares in a 375 degree oven for about 10 - 14 minutes keeping a careful eye on them as they will burn quickly. This is the part where I'll probably add some additional salt on top just as they come out of the oven. I hope that you like this recipe and make them often.

Here is where you can find the original recipe, but I've copied it below also:

1 1/4 C. all purpose flour
1/3 C. cheese powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
1 tsp. vinegar
3-5 Tbsp. water

Mix the first four ingredients together, then add the cold butter and mix with a fork or a pastry blender until it resembles a fine wet sand.
Add the vinegar and water until a dough can be formed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface until very thin, cut into 1 inch squares and bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 - 14 minutes.

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