Easy, Salty and Satisfying
- Servings: Makes about 48 wafers.
Making hors d'oeuvres can be a challenge if they need to be finished just before serving, making it hard to be both with your guests and in the kitchen. Savory cheese crackers are an easy and delicious alternative because you can make them in advance. Even if you don't bake, these are simple to make if you have a food processor and a cookie sheet.
- 1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups when coarsely grated)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/8 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher or coarse sea salt for finishing
- Using the grating disc of a food processor or the large holes on a box grater, grate the cheese. One-half pound will produce about 2 cups of grated cheese.
- In a food processor, combine the grated cheese, butter, celery seeds, Worcestershire, dry mustard and cayenne pepper and process until smooth.
- Add the flour and process until combined. You may need to stop and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the processor basket to make sure all the ingredients come together.
- Gather the dough into a ball and place on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Use your hands to shape the dough into a long log, about 12 to 14-inches long and about 1-inch in diameter. Wrap the plastic around the log to seal it and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Slice the log into 1/4-inch slices and arrange the slices about 1-inch apart on a baking sheet (they will spread a little when cooked). Place a few grains of coarse kosher or sea salt in the center of each slide, gently pressing the grains into the dough.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom and around the edges but be careful to not over bake them. Rotate the pan half-way through to help get even baking.
- Transfer the wafers to a wire rack to cool before serving.
Tip: Use good quality Cheddar that has a sharp, full flavor. Whatever the color of the cheese -- from pale yellow to rich orange -- will be the color of the final wafers.
Tip: Because there is so much fat in the dough from the butter and the cheese, there's no need to grease the baking sheet. But if your baking sheet is not non-stick, place a sheet of parchment paper or a Silipat nonstick liner on the baking sheet, either of which will make it easy to remove the finished slices.
Tip: The dough freezes very nicely so you can make a complete recipe, cut and bake what you need, and freeze the rest for another time.