These little cheese crackers are the tastiest crackers in all the land… you can search high and low, near and far, and i’m telling you nothing beats these scrumptious little slices of heaven. This is the recipe Fred’s mom (Bobbie!) uses. The first time she made them for us we thought our tastebuds were going to explode, ha ha… they were way too good… dangerously good. I make a recipe and freeze half of it, then when you really want a tasty morsel you just defrost, slice and bake. Insanely simple and quick to throw together, you won’t believe it! And YES, if you’re wondering, these ARE the crackers often seen during the holidays! A few in this photo got a little brown… I like them that way, darn… thought I ate all the brown ones before Fred got home, hee.., I mean, shhhhhh! Ok, here goes… **Special note… I just received a call from my mom… seems I didn’t put the temperature or time to bake… heavy sigh! Also for those of you who would like to print, see the bottom of the page, the recipe in its entirety for you to copy/paste into a document/email… or send me a comment with your email and I’ll send it to you!
C H A R L E S T O N C H E E S E C R A C K E R S
I N G R E D I E N T S
8oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I think I used a bit more… I used Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp 2%, which is so wrong to use light cheese, but they taste great so why not?? And if you’re wondering… the answer is YES, I do realize that light cheese and a stick of butter is quite like a diet drink and a candy bar, ha ha, not light, but still tasty!)
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (heaping if you like, but be careful, it’s hot, or omit if you don’t care for spicy)
D I R E C T I O N S
Grate the cheese…
Put a stick of room temperature butter in the mixing bowl… a stand mixer is mighty helpful for this recipe, if you’re mixing by hand… find someone with some muscle (either than or you may want to train for a few days first)
Mix together salt, flour and cayenne pepper, then whisk it to mix it well, you don’t want to get a big bite full of cayenne!
Cream together the butter and cheese (this is where a muscle bound friend comes in handy if you don’t have a stand mixer), I swear my mixer was bucking like a horse, but it mixed the dough, no problem! THANK GOODNESS!
Add the flour mixture to the butter/cheese mixture.
Mix until dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl (it won’t be in one big clump and that’s OK!)
Now empty the bowl onto a clean counter dusted with flour. You won’t need a lot of flour on the account of the, ahem, amount of butter… it’s not a sticky dough, it’s just perfect… just beautiful and perfect…
Now form the dough into one log… try to make it even, so you can divide it up evenly… perfection is not necessary (whew, how often do you hear that?)…
Now you want to divide the dough in quarters, so you can refrigerate it and it will chill quickly… the easiest way to do that is to cut it in half, and then cut each of the halves in half… whoa! Sounds as if I might be a math wiz…
Now take each quarter and form an even log, it can be round, it can be square, it can be shaped like a pear (ohmygosh… now i’ve turned into Dr. Suess?) you’re the boss, make it however you like! I made some square and some round, not sure why, it’s the way they ended up, and I like a change! I make the log approximately the diameter of a quarter (give or take… I promise not to send the recipe police after you! If you want bigger crackers you may have bigger crackers!!).
Now you’re going to continue on, making four logs total. We need to wrap them so they don’t get funny in the fridge, I use wax paper, put one log, roll it, when it’s covered I put the next one… I’m only going to refrigerate two, and I’m going to freeze two for later… If you only have plastic wrap that’s fine too!
Pop them in the fridge for about 30 minutes… longer if you need… (I mean, if you can… it won’t be easy KNOWING that perfection is so close….!)
NOW for the fun part! Slice and Bake Cheese Crackers! Woot Woot! Sorry, I got carried away, these crackers they make me smile
Slice them fairly thin (but not too thin), about 1/8″, if you slice them thicker they won’t be as crunchy and cracker like, but they will be good, like little cheese cookies, hee.
Note that I had the crackers placed fairly close together on the cookie sheet. They don’t puff up much, so you don’t have to worry about them spreading and becoming one big uni-cracker. Once out of the oven, cool on a wire rack (for as long as you can stand it). Then once cool you can store them in a sealed container. The dough lasts a few days in the fridge. You will enjoy the heck out of these, I know it can’t just be us! I hope these make you smile!
Here’s the recipe to copy and paste…
C H A R L E S T O N C H E E S E C R A C K E R S
1/2# (8oz.) extra sharp cheddar cheese (I use Cracker Barrell 2%)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use unbleached)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
H O W: Preheat oven to 350. In stand mixer (ideally) or in large bowl with hand mixer or by hand (if you’re strong) cream together the cheese and butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt and cayenne pepper. Add to butter/cheese mixture in mixing bowl. Combine until mixture comes away from the sides. Empty mixing bowl onto clean counter dusted with flour. Shape dough into a log, divide that log into quarters (easiest to divide in half, then divide each half in half) wrap each log in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes or hard enough to slice easily. (At this point you can put it in a freezer bag and freeze it to bake later). Slice about 1/8″ thick. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake approximately 10-15 minutes. (You don’t want them to get real brown, but they are good nice and crispy like a cracker should be, so if it starts getting brown, test one, if it breaks apart like a cracker then they’re done, if still soft but outside is beginning to brown turn OFF the oven and let them stay in until they get more like a cracker (crunch).
Catch you back here tomorrow!