Instead of cookies, I made Christmas cheez-its, powered by Crossroads Farm’s pasilla, esplette, and Hungarian cherry pepper powders. They were a hit. I may never bake cookies again. Especially good served with smoked whitefish dip. So my present to you is the recipe. Merry Christmas!
Christmas Cheese Crackers
Yield: 2-3 dozen, depending on how thick
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into slices when cold
- 2 cups white wheat flour or wheat/rye combo
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar, or a cheddar/stronger cheese mix like aged gouda
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Smoked paprika or esplette or pasilla powder and sesame seeds for topping
Cut butter into pieces and let sit on counter to soften. Grate cheese. Add an ice cube to a bowl of water to chill.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor bowl; pulse to combine. Add the butter and cheese and pulse until mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add 2 tablespoons water and pulse until the dough falls away from the sides of the bowl and can be formed into a crumbly ball, adding a little more water if necessary.
Divide the dough in two, forming it into a disk if you plan to roll it out, or a log if you’re lazy like me and just want to slice it. Chill for 1 hour to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Either roll the dough out or slice your log into pieces 1/8-inch thick (no more!). You may need to let it warm up first on the counter a bit if you chilled overnight for easier rolling. You are aiming for thin, crisp crackers, so take care to make thickness even and consistent.
For Cheez-It-like bits, cut into 3/4-inch-wide squares and poke a hole in the center of each square with a skewer.
Place crackers on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush with egg white, then dust with paprika or the like and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake until the dough is not shiny/raw and barely golden on the bottom, about 20-22 minutes. Store completely cooled crackers in an airtight container.
*Note: I forgot to brush with egg white, so the toppings slid off for the photo. Follow me at your peril!