|Cheese and Bacon Crackers|
I have wanted to make cheese crackers for a while. I am on a two-week break from my other life (high school teacher,) so if not now, then when? As usual, I read a ton-I weighed them-of recipes. The basic recipe is cheese, butter and flour. From there, the recipes diverge. I saw recipes calling for other varieties of cheese, even cream cheese. After this maiden voyage, I am going to tweak this recipe and try other cheeses. Doesn’t pepper jack sound intriguing? Other recipes used different herbs like garlic, dried chives, dill and oregano.
I decided to go spicy and bacony, because who doesn’t like bacon? I used ½ teaspoon each cayenne and black pepper. Next time I may substitute the cayenne for pepper flakes. I used the bacon pieces that are sold in the salad dressing aisle with croutons. The bacon pieces are much more convenient than frying all that bacon yourself. The pieces are also less greasy. I added onion flakes for a different texture and a more complex flavor. If you love this recipe, try Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheese Straws from our friends at Food Flippers.
Servings: 3 dozen crackers
Time: Active time: 20 minutes; Cook: 15 minutes; Refrigerate: 30 minutes-crackers in an hour
Hardware: Measuring cups and spoons, a large mixing bowl, a rubber spatula, a mixer, a baking sheet, parchment paper, plastic wrap, a knife and cutting board, a cooling rack, (optional) a silpat
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 stick room temperature butter
- ⅓ cup crumbled bacon
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ cups flour
- 3 tablespoons ice cold water
1. Make sure the butter is soft. Mix the butter and cheese together for about three minutes on high. The dough will get stuck in the beaters. Stop occasionally and use the spatula to remove the batter and return it to the bowl. Add a tablespoon of very cold water and mix for another minute.
2. Add the bacon, onion flakes, salt, and peppers and mix on medium until all the bacon is evenly distributed.
3. Add ½ cup of flour and another tablespoon of cold water. Mix on medium for 1 minute. Add another ½ cup flour and the final tablespoon of water. Mix for a minute. Add the last of the flour and mix until a dough forms.
4. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper and shape it into a 1½ inch in diameter log. Roll the parchment paper around the log. Then wrap in plastic wrap and twist the ends to seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 375˚. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
6. Unwrap the dough and cut the log into ¼ inch slices. Place the crackers about ¼ inch apart on the lined baking sheet.
7. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer the crackers to the rack and cool completely. Serve at room temperature.
8. The crackers will keep for about a week in an airtight container. The dough can be kept wrapped in the fridge for a week before using, just make sure it is wrapped tight.