Remember that snack Cheez-its? I absolutely love it. Unfortunately, local stores haven’t been carrying it the past year or so. So, when I stumbled upon a Wholewheat Cheese Cracker recipe on 80 Breakfasts that was described as being reminiscent of Goldfish Crackers and Cheez-its, I resolved to try it.
Of course, being the disorganized person I am, I realized I didn’t have any wheat flour stocked so I web-hopped around to one of the original versions of the recipe and went from there. What turned out was a cheesy, buttery light confection of pure cheesy evil. Unlike the goldfish cracker version on Smitten Kitchen, the kick of the red pepper flakes was killer strong, it made me think of piranhas more than goldfish. Hence, this is what I’ll be calling this cracker.
For this batch, I used half a block of Mainland brand Aged Vintage Cheddar because the local supermarket was out of the bright orange kind of cheddar. Next time though, I’ll be sure to try that since I want to get that cheery bright orange color. I’m also toying with the idea of adding a smidgen of sugar (something this buttery feels like it needs to be a tad sweeter) and swapping the red pepper flakes with onion powder. Oh, and the original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp half and half, but I forgot to add some. *facepalm* It still worked though.
Cheese Piranha Crackers v 07 June 2011
- 1 1/2 cups of grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (roughly 6 oz)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened then cut into 4 parts
- 3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed chili pepper flakes
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, until it comes together into a ball. In case you don’t have a food processor, work the flour into the butter using a pastry blender or two knives. Keep slicing until it becomes a coarse crumb. Work in the salt, chili pepper flakes and the cheese.
- Knead into two balls, then wrap in cling wrap. Chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes to half an hour.
- Roll out on a floured board until 1/8 inch thick. Be sure to dust your rolling pin and cookie cutters too, it can get sticky.
- Cut with the cookie cutter of your choice. It works best with smaller cutters. Then, transfer to a cookie sheet.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 12-15 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool and try not to finish everything in one sitting.