Red Chili and Cheddar Crackers

These little babies are OMG good. The spicy kick in these little bites is perfectly balanced with a deep rich Cheddar flavor. The key is to use the very best aged Cheddar possible
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
8 ounces best-quality aged Cheddar cheese, grated
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and chilies. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cheese and pulse to combine.

2. Add 3 tablespoons of the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until the mixture comes together in a ball. Pulse in an additional tablespoon of water if needed to get the dough to hold together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F
4. Roll the dough out to a 1/8-inch thickness directly onto a baking sheet. (If the dough seems sticky, sprinkle the surface ever so lightly with flour.) Try to be as accurate as you can about the thickness of the dough, as the crackers won’t puff up nicely if the dough is too thin, nor will they be crispy enough if the dough is too thick. Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, a sharp knife, or a fluted pasta cutter, trim the dough into ½-inch diamonds (or any shape you prefer).

baking sheets with parchment paper. line 1 or 2 baking sheets you have and bake the crackers in batches, allowing the sheets to cool between uses. Place the dough on the parchment-lined sheets, giving them just enough room so that they are not touching. Bake until the crackers are deep golden brown and crunchy, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your crackers. Watch the crackers carefully as they go from almost done to a little too done quite quickly. Transfer the crackers to wire rack and let cool completely before serving. (The crackers can stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week, although they are best the first couple of days.)

Category: Appetizers
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5 Responses
  1. Karen says:

    I bought ingredients for cheese crackers last week, was looking for a good recipe! This one looks like our traditional Southern cheese straws. We would not think of having company without cheese straws, we cut them into finger length “straws” and twist them to bake. I’m home milling flour now, and thought of replacing part of the wheat flour with fresh rice flour to make it extra crispy. What do you think?

  2. blima says:

    Karen, how long have we been friends now? I am thinking about 14 years, and you never told me about these little gems?
    This recipes was so so good, buttery, cheesy and spicy, much better then those crackers that make your fingers orange, lol.
    I think the rice flour will work very well, let me know.

    • Karen says:

      We sort of “assume” cheese straws in the South, just like we “assume” sweet tea and grits! Hey, I have you on my weather watch on my iPhone, today my niece in Kotzebue, AK was 15 degrees warmer than YOU! She’s 36 miles NORTH of the Arctic circle. BRRR!

  3. blima says:

    Yeah…very cold here today, I took Jacks and Brie to the dog park and after 15 min they both are standing at the gate ready to leave, smart eh? 🙂

    please email me the recipe for sweet tea? is it different then just adding a pack of Splenda? LOL.

  4. Karen says:

    LOL, Sweet tea is made by boiling water, adding tea, and adding sugar while it is still hot. Most Southerners like LOTS of sugar. Then you pour the tea over ice. I don’t like sweet tea; lol, I don’t like sugar much! But I LOVE my iced tea with nothing in it but lemon. Or lime. Lime is the GREATEST. I went to the Pacific Northwest once on vacation, and was warned ahead of time to bring my own tea bags. No one in Washington State had ever heard of iced tea! I taught waitresses to make it everywhere I went!

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