Cheese crackers

December 10, 2008
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Makes 3 dozen

This simple dough is made like a pastry crust, but with lots of cheese and a generous pinch of cayenne pepper. Roll it into logs, then slice and bake. The rounds are very cheese-y and flaky.

1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 pound (2 cups) grated cheddar cheese
Extra flour (for sprinkling)
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Whisk to blend them.

2. In a food processor, combine the butter and cheese. Pulse the mixture until blended.

3. Add the flour mixture and pulse again until the dough comes together to form moist clumps.

4. Lay 2 long sheets of plastic wrap on the counter. Divide the dough between the sheets. Working with one sheet at a time, roll the pastry up in the sheet to form a log shape. Roll it under your palms to form a log that is about 7 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap completely in the plastic wrap, securing the ends.

5. Do the same with the other dough and sheet.

6. Refrigerate the logs for at least 3 hours or for up to 2 days.

7. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

8. Using a straight-bladed knife, cut the logs into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange them on the baking sheets.

9. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden. Cool on the baking sheets. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Ellen Forst


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