This is another one of those posts about making things yourself instead of buying. Buying is definitely a convenience… because not everyone has time to roll out delicious cheesy dough with a rolling pin, press out crackers and then carefully bake them. Seriously. It’s a labor of love. And deliciousness. I tend to make major sacrifices for deliciousness. (I’ll take a minute to add here that I might sell you one of my children for a doughnut. And I’ll take another minute to add to that the fact that I don’t have children, so there’s no need to call DCFS.)
As I mentioned in my last post, there are also ingredients to consider. And the certain cheese crackers that this recipe is meant to mimic… they contain MSG (flavor enhancer), annatto extract (a color enhancer), and some other stuff that I can’t pronounce but that probably lengthens their shelf life. *shrug*
Here’s the thing though… to make your own, you need flour, cheese, butter, salt, cayenne pepper, and paprika. That’s it. Well… actually you need an oven and some other cooking tools and some time, but that’s all the INGREDIENTS you’ll need. Six ingredients + your time + your love = better cheese
nips pips. (not to be confused with Gladys Knight’s pips)
Okay… run and get yourself this stuff:
1 1/2 cups flour, 2 cups room-temp shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup room-temp butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy… *shimmies shoulders*)
Do all of this with all of that:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and ready two baking sheets for battle. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper if they’re not guaranteed non-stick… mine are pretty trusty so I go without.
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until everything comes together like The Beatles. Dump that mixture out onto a floured countertop and form it into a beautiful yellowy ball.
What’s that you say? No food processor? That’s cool. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and do some mixing around until a dough starts forming. Then transfer everything into a Ziploc and knead them together and into a dough ball like a master massage therapist. Sure… it’ll take you longer than an automated, gadgety food processor but your fingers will be much stronger and then you can challenge me to a thumb wrestling contest next time you see me. (You’re going doooooown!)
Time to break out the rolling pin and flatten that dough out to about an eighth of an inch thick. If your dough ball is sticky, try putting it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before rolling it out. It shouldn’t stick to your hands when you’re ready to begin. When rolling, think thinner than crackers because they’re gonna rise a bit in the oven… go as thin as you can without losing the ability to pick the dough up off of the counter.
Once cool, transfer them to an air-tight container for freshness… or transfer them into your mouth for gluttony. This recipe makes 3-4 dozen crackers depending on how you cut them. They’re a great accompaniment to soup and salad. And they’re also awesome just by themselves.
And they’re especially great to share with derby girls too… named Biz.