As I cruised my bookmarked sites, one snack in particular seemed to pop up again and again in recent months: cheese crackers. When the universe is so adamant, what else is a girl to do but head to the kitchen and get crackin'. Womp womp.
Aside from whole wheat Premium Plus for my tomato soup, which is totally non-negotiable, I rarely buy crackers. Mostly because I love them too much. Sit me down with a box of Cheese Nips or Triscuits or Ritz (oh Lord, especially the Ritz) and I'll plow through the whole thing in one go—no buttery, salt-covered carb left undemolished. I'm a real champ like that.
Seriously though, the deliciousness-to-effort ratio on these nippers is sky high. They're more like little bites of pastry than true crackers, but that can hardly be considered a character flaw. We ate them as a crackéritif (that's cracker + apéritif) before my all-time favourite butternut squash and black bean soup, but they'd be a worthy party snack or cheese plate addition. The next time I get my hands on a jar of hot pepper jelly, I'm breaking out this recipe.
140 grams flour
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
55 grams cold salted butter, cubed
60 grams strong cheese, grated (I used gruyere and pecorino)
Up to 2 tablespoons cold water
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Measure the flour, chili powder and garlic into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to blend. Add the butter and cheese and pulse just until the mixture begins to clump. Add the water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing between each addition, until the dough begins to form a ball.
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Carefully roll it out as thinly as you can (1/2 centimetre or even less is ideal). Cut into shapes using a knife or flour-dusted cookie cutters. Transfer the cutouts to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Cool before noshing.
Source: Adapted from Joy the Baker's Cheddar Cheese Crackers and converted to weight measurements for my Paris kitchen.