I am on a new mission to try to have our family eat most things homemade. I have several reasons behind this, but quite frankly, its just a healthier way to be. I've never been one to really be anti-food dyes or preservatives, probably because I'm uneducated in that department, but now I am trying to improve my family's health and skip all that icky junk.
I try to make lots of things homemade anyways, but as I was shopping in the commissary and I was thinking about going anti-shrink-wrapped-food, I then realized how much packaged food I buy. Even though I may buy lightened products, or things fortified with fiber, there is still way too much processed stuff at home. As my kiddos are reaching for the obligatory uber-jumbo carton of Goldfish crackers, I thought "how the heck am I supposed to never buy crackers again?" Fact is, I can promise that I will not never buy crackers again, but it wouldn't hurt to try making them from time to time. But seriously, who makes their own crackers?
So...I googled for a recipe, and found out its not that hard to make, surprisingly. I found the recipe below at this site, and it seemed easy enough. I must admit that I nearly choked when I saw the recipe call for an entire teaspoon of cayenne (especially since I was making these primarily for the kiddos), so I decided to be brave and at least add half of the cayenne. I used a small cookie cutter to cut these out, and all in all, these were a breeze to make - very similar to doing sugar cookies. My kids loved them, except after eating a few crackers the spiciness got to them, so I promised next time I would cut down on the cayenne a little more. To me, the half-teaspoon gave it a nice little kick of spice and a pretty interesting flavor, so I will probably do a quarter-teaspoon next time just so it will still have the taste. My kids thought it was so cool that I made them crackers (I'm going to miss this age where easy things amuse them), and I am very excited about trying different cheese and spice combinations! You can expect posts in the future with different cracker flavors, that I promise!
Spicy Cheddar Crackers
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose and 1/2 whole wheat and it was great)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons cold water (more or less)
1. Preheat your oven to 325˚. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.
2. Put all the above ingredients except water in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Slowly add in one tbsp of cold water or a bit more until the mixture comes together into a ball.
3. Take out the dough and lightly floured work surface, give the dough a few knead and let it rest for half an hour.
4. Roll the dough out thinly about 1/8" thick. Cut out into desired shapes.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crackers start to get just golden on the edges. Remove the baking pan from the oven, and transfer the browned crackers to a cooling rack. Store covered.