So, I made a margarita this afternoon and was sitting out on the deck enjoying the view. I don’t have salt for the rim of the glass, so decided a nice salty cracker would be a good substitute. I have an untried recipe for “Cheese-Nibs” and decided to make them to accompany my drink.
(The margarita was full when I started baking.)
They take very little time and are easy to make. You can adjust the amount of dusting salt to suit your taste. I rolled the dough out on the same parchment paper I used to bake them—less mess, more efficient. I also left a few of them un-separated on the baking sheet and they seemed to be fine. Next time I will just cut them and leave them all attached. They seem to shrink slightly and pull away from their neighbors. As you are working on one of the chilled disks of dough keep the other in the fridge. After each step return the dough to the fridge to set up a bit. It makes cutting etc much easier.
YIELD: 7 dozen crackers
• 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
• 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening*
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup flour
• 2 Tablespoons ice water
• Coarse salt for sprinkling
- Combine cheese, butter, shortening, and salt in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. The mixture will be crumbly.
- Slowly add flour and then the ice water. You may add a few more drops of water to help it come together but be careful not to add too much. You don’t want a wet dough.
- Pat the dough into 2 discs and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (or longer).
- Preheat oven to 375⁰F.
- Using parchment paper or a silicone mat roll each disc to 1/8 inch or less and sprinkle with coarse salt
- Cut into 1 inch squares (a pastry wheel or pizza wheel is easiest). Use a toothpick to punch a hole into the center of each square.
- If you have difficulty separating and transferring the crackers onto the baking sheet return the parchment paper/mat to the refrigerator for 10 minutes (while you roll out the 2nd dough disc).
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until puffed and browning around the edges. If you pull them out too soon and the crackers don’t have the desired crispiness you want then simply return them to the oven for 2-3 more minutes.
- Move crackers to a cooling rack. Makes about 7 dozen crackers.