Thursday, March 25, 2010

How To: Make Your Own Cheese Cracker

My daughter LOVES Goldfish crackers. She is always bringing me the box when she wants a snack. I knew that crackers were relatively easy to make and while Goldfish probably are cheaper to buy, I know what is going into these crackers and I can make them healthier by adding in some whole wheat flour and flax meal. They do take some time to do but the possible flavors of these crackers are endless. I'm going to give you the basic recipe along with the one that I did. Know that you can use any spices or herbs and you can change the cheese in the crackers too as long as you stick with a harder cheese. I'm sure how using a softer cheese such as mozzarella would work but if you're feeling adventurous then give it a try and let me know how it goes!

What You Need: (basic recipe)

1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 c (1/2 lb or 8oz) sharp cheddar cheese either shredded or in small cubes
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 to 3 tbs water

What You Need: (My version)

1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c flour
2 c (1/2 lb or 8oz) sharp cheddar cheese either shredded or in small cubes
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of onion powder
2 tbs flax seed meal
1 to 3 tbs water

What To Do: (For either recipe)

In a food processor, place all of your ingredients except for the water.

Give several pulses to combined, before letting the food processor run to really incorporate everything. If the mixture is really crumbly, with the processor running, add in water 1 tbs at a time until it starts to adhere together.

Turn out onto a piece of waxed paper and knead together. If you find your dough to be warm and to soft, let rest in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap for 30 minutes.

Otherwise you can either roll it into a cylindar and using a sharp knife, slice very thin pieces, or you can roll it out flat and very thin. Then using a pizza cuter, cut the rolled out dough into squares which is what I have done.

Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with either parchment paper or one of those silicone liners. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until they start to brown around the edges. They will puff up a bit, but as long as you rolled the dough nice and thin they should still get crispy. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire wrack to cool the rest of the way.

If you find they are more chewy then crispy, or you didn't roll them thin enough you can toss them back into the oven on very low heat for while. This will "dry out" the crackers and make them crispy.

You can also easily add some sesame seeds to the top by giving the un-baked crackers a light spritz with oil and sprinkling some seeds on top before baking.

That's it! You now have some yummy cheese crackers!

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