I have a few different writing projects going right now (not to mention a wedding to plan--but the dress is taken care of!), and Eric has been warning me that I'm going to burn out. He keeps telling me to relax and actually take a full day off--something that is nearly impossible for me. But he's right. I'm getting burnt out. An avid gamer, he recommended shooting zombies, monsters, and whatever else in a video game for a good tension reliever. I decided to spend some time in the kitchen instead. Yesterday I made chocolate-covered cherries which I will be sharing with you next month (they need to age a bit). Today it was supposed to be a cheese cracker recipe I found on Pinterest. I probably have at least a dozen recipes for crackers bookmarked on my computer. Cheez-its, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Goldfish, Cheese Nips . . . you name it, I have it in my archives. But for my first cracker recipe, I went with the easiest one I had, a five ingredient cheese cracker: cheddar, flour, cayenne, salt and rice krispies.
And I managed to screw it up.
I had a brain freeze while adding the flour. So I could either scrap the dough and the 2 cups of delicious cheddar cheese, or I could experiment and come up with something on my own. Since the recipe was already a disaster, I knew I couldn't make it any worse. With just cheese, butter, too much flour, salt, and cayenne in the bowl, the crumbly dough reminded me of my pastry dough recipe. Keeping that recipe in mind, I added some water and left out the rice krispies. Not sure how these would cook (I really need to invest in a book about the chemistry of baking), I played with different thicknesses. My first batch, which were the thickest, came out as delicious cheese puffs. I ate half a plate of them without realizing it. They were that good.
|The in between|
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 5 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
On low, beat the butter and cheese together in a large bowl until well combined. Add in flour, cayenne, and salt and combine. Your dough will be crumbly. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough sticks together. With your hands, roll the dough into a ball.
These really do come out as crisp as any cracker. These are so simple that I can't wait to experiment with flavor. Add thyme or rosemary. You can also make these (or the puffs) look pretty by placing an herb in the center of the cracker before baking.
Eric came home from work and I made him try my puffs, crisps, and in betweens. He said they tasted just like Cheez-its then walked away with the container.