Wednesday, September 18, 2013

White Cheddar Cheese Crackers

          A few posts back I mentioned to you guys how excited I am to live in my new apartment in Denver. Part of that is because of a significantly superior kitchen, part of that is because it is my first place out of college and yes, part of that may now be because of a small herd of kitties living in our back parking lot. However, an even bigger part is my wonderful roommate Jess.
       Recently, Jess mentioned her mom's annual ladies summer cocktail night coming up, and I was stoked to get to join in this year. I had heard tales of the mojitos for the inaugural night, the three types of sangria the second, and this year was dedicated to a delicious drink called a tequila daisy. Even in Colorado's massive rainstorms of last week, this drink only brought happy thoughts of summer. Tequila, hard lemonade, lime juice, and grenadine encapsulated a ladies summer cocktail evening pretty darn perfectly. 
         We each brought things to contribute. There were homemade cumin-pickled zucchinis and smoked salmon on blue corn tortilla chips with a spiced aioli (I will tell you the words you were looking for: "yummy" and "jealous"). Seriously tempting food floated around the kitchen counter as we hung out sipping on our beverages crafted by our wonderful host, Sue.    
          When I was deciding what to bring, I figured I had made enough sweets in my oven recently (ha...that does not actually ever happen) so it was time to brake out a savory baked treat. And anyways, what person does not love cheez-its? They are crunchy, buttery, salty, and most importantly cheesy
         I was ready to take the party cracker to the next level: homemade white cheddar crackers with subtle hints of spice, herbs and salt. Holy moly, these babies are simple to make and dangerously good. They were polished off by the end of the night and honestly, you can eat them by the handful. They are addicting little mouth-watering treats. They make your house smell phenomenal, and they add just the right amount of class to a childhood favorite. 
        So whether you are having a party or just lounging around in your PJs hiding from gnarly weather outside, these crackers can be made and out of the oven before you know it...and they will probably be gone before you know it too! 

Adapted from "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" by Deb Perelman
Oven Temp: 350 F
Equipment: Food Processor
                     Cookie Sheet
1 1/2 C. (170 g/6 oz.) White Cheddar Cheese
1/2 stick (55 g) unsalted butter
3/4 C. (95 g) All-purpose flour
1/2 TSP Herbs/Spices: divide evenly between garlic powder, paprika, and oregano
1/4 TSP Salt

1. Places medium chunks of cheddar in food processor and pulse until grated.

2. Add flour, butter, herbs/spices, and salt. Turn on and let it go until a course meal forms. 
3. Flip dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into a loose ball.
4. Pat down to a square and wrap up. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, preheat oven and grease cookie sheets.
6. Remove dough, and roll it out to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
7. Cut it into small squares using a sharp knife or bench scraper (you could also use cookie cutters for fun shapes if you want to bring a smile to your face) and use a fork to poke holes in each cracker.

8. Bake for 10-13 minutes until edges are golden brown, and crackers develop some crispness.
9. Remove, let cool for a moment, and dig in...or store in an air tight container for up to 3 days (that will not happen.) 

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