I’ve been staring at the word “cheese” for the last 10 minutes and it’s starting to look funny.
Does that ever happen to you? You look at a very normal, everyday word like “where” or “hotel” and if you look at it long enough, it starts to look like a different word or like a weird, foreign word. And then you wonder if you’ve been misspelling it all your life, or mispronouncing it (like how Elliott says “roon” instead of “ruin” and totally DENIES it, even though everyone knows he does). And then you realize you just spent a whole paragraph telling the interwebs one of your many quirky quirks.
So anyway — CHEESE. More specifically, homemade cheese crackers. Let’s talk about it.
I intended to make these crackers like a grown-up, fancy-pants version of homemade Cheez-Its with garlic powder and three different kinds of cheese (I almost made it four because I had an extra cup of coffee today and was feeling adventurous, but then I thought, “whoa, Steph. Let’s not get too crazy.”) and whole wheat flour — for the health, you know. But truthfully, they came out just tasting like Cheez-Its. Which isn’t really a problem, anyway, because those things are delicious.
I mean, OK, they taste a little different than the stuff you buy at the store. For one thing, they’re homemade, so you know exactly what’s going into them. For another thing, I did add a sprinkle of sea salt on top and that was a very good idea — a little something extra that the storebought cracker doesn’t have. And finally, their texture is puffier and heartier than their storebought counterparts. All in all, I liked these more than the storebought version very much, and the time it took me to make them was the same amount of time it takes me to get dressed, get in my car and buy the box at the grocery store. Except with these, I didn’t even have to get dressed. WIN.
And in case you’ve read through this entire post now in hopes that I might, at some point, sound a little less like a crazy person, I apologize. I blame the moving boxes scattered all over my apartment right now. And maybe that extra cup of coffee.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yields: About 40 to 50 crackers
6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) shredded cheese (I used a blend of cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Combine all ingredients except for sea salt in the bowl of a food processor. Run food processor for about 2 to 4 minutes until a dough forms.
Pat dough into a flat disk, then roll out on a lightly floured baking sheet to 1/8-inch thickness (mine were a little thicker and therefore less crunchy as a result, but still tasty). Pat edges of dough to form a rough square or rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut dough into squares or shapes (using a cookie cutter). Transfer squares to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1/2-inch apart. Use a skewer to poke a couple holes in each cracker. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until just lightly browned on the edges.
Cool crackers completely on baking sheet placed on a cooling rack. Crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.