Crispy Cheese Crackers

I was recently given my grandmother’s box of recipes, most of them handwritten, probably many, many years ago and it’s been really fun going through it and seeing what her favorite recipes were. My mother also had a similar recipe box filled with cards and magazine clippings that I look through periodically. Cookbooks are great, but I love taking one of those meticulously written recipe cards out the box and trying to decipher the tiny, perfect cursive handwriting; trying to follow the sometimes very opaque directions; chuckling at old-fashioned ingredients like “oleo.”

Recipe card

Sometimes I think there is too much importance placed on “original” recipes. I love finding a recipe and knowing that it was made the same way for years and years by my grandmother or my mother or hundreds of people’s grandmothers and mothers. I love having a whole boxes of recipes that have been passed down over and over. Maybe my mom got that recipe from her sister. Or maybe my grandmother got that recipe from a friend. Maybe they never even got a chance to make it, but they still liked it enough that they sat down with a pen and a recipe card and wrote out all the instructions and added it to their collection. They wanted to make it one day; to share it with family and friends, to pass it on again.

Crispy Cheese Crackers

I’m lucky enough to have those recipes now and I’m lucky enough to have this blog which makes it even easier to share these recipes and pass them on to even more people. That’s why I’ve decided to start a series where I’ll be going through these collections and finding fun recipes to share. Maybe I’ll update them and put on a new spin or maybe they won’t need any changes at all. I just know it’ll be fun to discover and play with these old recipes as I go along.

Crispy Cheese Crackers

This first recipe in the series comes from my grandmother’s recipe collection. She apparently liked this recipe for cheese crackers so much that she saved it twice. The two cards have slight variations but are pretty much the same. These are very simple crackers, but what I like about them is that they have Rice Krispies added to the dough to give them an extra crispy texture when you bite into them. Made with extra sharp cheddar, they taste almost exactly like Cheez-its to me. I can see why my grandmother saved this recipe twice. These cheese crackers are delicious and addictive. If you wanted to impress people with homemade crackers, they’d make a nice party appetizer along with some kind of spread or dip.

Cheese

These couldn’t be easier to make. They take about 30 minutes start to finish, have only a few simple ingredients and are endlessly customizable. The original recipe is for cheddar crackers which are very slightly spiced with cayenne pepper but they were so simple to make that I whipped up another batch with garlic instead of cayenne and then a third spicier batch with pepper jack cheese and Tabasco sauce. These crackers could be made with just about any soft cheese that you can think of and mixed with any spice or herb. Have fun and make them your own!

Crispy Cheese Crackers

Crispy Cheese Crackers

from Back to the Cutting Board

Snack | Yield: about 30 crackers
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 12 min | Total time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 oz. (about 1 tightly packed cup) freshly grated sharp or extra cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). In the bowl of your mixer, cream together butter and cheese until fluffy.
  2. Sift together flour, salt and cayenne. Beat into cheese mixture until well incorporated.
  3. Stir in rice cereal with a wooden spoon or spatula just until incorporated.
  4. Scoop out level tablespoons of the dough and roll into balls. Place on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. With a fork or the palm of your hand, flatten the balls into half inch discs. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Let cool for a minute and then transfer to a cookie rack to cook completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Garlic version:
Omit salt and cayenne pepper. Substitute 1/2 tsp. (or more to taste) garlic salt.

 

Crispy Cheese Crackers

Spicy Pepper Jack Crispy Cheese Crackers

from Back to the Cutting Board

Snack | Yield: about 30 crackers
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 12 min | Total time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 oz. (about 1 tightly packed cup) freshly grated pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). In the bowl of your mixer, cream together butter and cheese until fluffy. Mix in Tabasco sauce.
  2. Sift together flour and salt. Beat into cheese mixture until well incorporated.
  3. Stir in rice cereal with a wooden spoon or spatula just until incorporated.
  4. Scoop out level tablespoons of the dough and roll into balls. Place on a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. With a fork or the palm of your hand, flatten the balls into half inch discs. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Let cool for a minute and then transfer to a cookie rack to cook completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.