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Recipes / Italian Cheddar Crackers

Italian Cheddar Crackers

½ cup
-or-
3 oz
unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
-or-
canola oil
2 cups
(8 oz bag)
shredded cheddar cheese
1¼ cup unbleached flour (I just used whatever flour was in the bin)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tbs parsley flakes
1 tsp oregano
2–4 tbs water

Note: the amount of garlic powder, oregano, and parsley flakes is a guess. I just dumped or sprinkled what seemed appropriate. Feel free to use whatever herbs and spices you prefer. The original recipe calls for cayenne pepper.

Note: use oil if you want to slightly reduce the calories and fat (significantly reduce saturated fat), and eliminate cholesterol. The butter contributes 800 calories, 88g fat (56g saturated fat), and 240g cholesterol. The canola oil contributes 720 calories, 84g fat (but only 6g saturated fat), and NO cholesterol.


IF USING BUTTER
Make sure you use a very large bowl, otherwise you will be flinging bits of cheese and butter all over the kitchen. I speak from experience.
In this large bowl, cream the softened butter with an electric mixer until soft and smooth. Completely blend in the shredded cheese. You will probably wind up with little balls of buttery cheese, break these up as much as possible so that few balls larger than about an inch in diameter remain.
IF USING OIL
With a spoon, mix the oil and shredded cheese until the cheese is fully coated with oil (i.e. no oil is left in the bottom of the bowl).


Mix in the flour, salt, herbs and spices. Keep mixing until most of the flour is clumped with the butter and cheese.

Add water, a tablespoon at a time, and mix thoroughly. Do not add too much water, but keep adding water until there is no dry flour left. The mixture will be crumbly, but by hand you will be able to form it into a ball or lump.

With wet hands, knead the dough three or four times. (If the ball is too crumbly, simply add a little more water.) Break the ball of dough in half and roll (by hand, like playdough) each half into a log (cylinder) about 1½ inches in diameter. Wrap these in wax paper and chill them for at least half an hour. According to the original recipe, you could freeze the logs and store them for a couple of weeks.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the logs into ¼ inch slices (which is thicker than you might expect) and place them on a greased and lightly floured cookie sheet (I used a Pam-like spray). Cook for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 4-5 dozen crackers.


Original recipe: Cheese Crackers


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