Can you guys believe Thanksgiving is next week! That’s craziness. It’s time again for Friday Favs. This week, Rebecca from Ezra Pound Cake is here to post. Rebecca used to be a professional baker! And before that she was a writer. Now she’s a blogger who makes amazing recipes with amazing photographs to go along with them. I owe her a huge hug for introducing me to a spinach and butternut squash casserole that has become my go-to holiday potluck contribution. Everyone LOVES it!
Hey, everyone! I’m Rebecca Crump, a freelance writer living in Nashville. My food blog is called “Ezra Pound Cake,” because I’m a writer (like Ezra Pound) who became a professional baker (that’s the “pound cake” part). I learned how to bake as an apprentice (and then pastry chef) at a German bakery, but my real passion is Southern food, so I’m thrilled to get to share one of my favorite Southern recipes with you today. Thanks for the opportunity, Jen!
So, have you ever made your own cheese crackers?
I know, why make them when The Lord gave us Cheez-Its? But, you guys, Sara Foster’s Rosemary Cheese Crackers are so worth the almost-nonexistent amount of effort they require. They’re the sort of thing you take to a party, and no one gets excited at first. But then they taste one. And then another. And then they start rummaging through the host’s cabinets for containers so they can take some home.
Because these things are addictive.
And they’re easy.
In fact, you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen right now.
If you’ve ever made slice-and-bake cookies, you know how to make these crackers. First, you combine the cheese, butter, flour and other ingredients into a lovely, tangerine-colored dough. Then you roll the dough into a 2-inch wide cylinder, chill it, and slice it into nice fat rounds (or squares) that you bake until they’re slightly puffy and golden-brown at the edges.
Sandy, buttery and intensely cheesy.
Since the crackers are flecked with green and red confetti from the chopped rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes, they come out of the oven looking festive. Pack them in a pretty tin to give your neighbor. Pile them onto a big platter for guests to nibble before a big holiday meal. Or, do as Sara Foster suggests: top them with a little goat cheese and pepper jelly, and serve them with Sazeracs.
So much better than Cheez-Its.
2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried rosemary (or 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary)
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, cream the cheese and butter together until smooth and well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, rosemary, sea salt, red pepper flakes and cayenne.
Add the flour mixture to the cheese mixture, and stir to combine thoroughly. (Or, place the dough in your food processor, and pulse it a few times.)
Turn the dough onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Roll into a 2-inch wide log shape for round crackers; for square crackers, gently tap each side of the log on the counter several times to form a long rectangle. Wrap the dough in the paper, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until the dough is firm and sliceable.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut the log into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and arrange them on a baking sheet.
Using a fork, prick the center of each cracker several times, and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
Remove from the oven, and let the crackers cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from "Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen" by Sara Foster - Makes about 2 1/2 dozen 2-inch crackers