January 8, 2014

Smokey White Cheddar Crisps

Last week I was loitering on g+ and happened upon an experiment that was in the works to demonstrate the power of branding and marketing on Google Plus. Honestly, they had me at cooking experiment. The idea is to use either Kraft Mac & Cheese or Cracker Barrel Cheese. I had fun with both products, but this recipe uses the Cracker Barrel Extra-Sharp White Cheddar Cheese.

Years ago I made cheese straws with the help of Deb and I was in love with the buttery, crumbly treat. I recently had a craving for the straws, but admittedly I wasn't very motivated to get in the kitchen. This KraftyCooking challenge was the push I needed! 

So the cheese straws were my inspiration but at the given moment, I was also craving some BBQ crackers. Smokey + cheddar = winner winner. 

You'll notice that I wound up cutting the dough slices a bit too thick. If you want a cracker consistency (which I did) and not a biscuit consistency (which I got), cut them thinner than shown!

I made this by hand, but it would be tremendously easier if you make it with a food processor. 

You will want to cut half that thickness to get a cracker-like crunch.

Smokey White Cheddar Crisps

2 C all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
2 tsp tomato bouillon
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
14 Tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) cold, unsalted butter - cubed
1 1/2 C cheddar cheese (about 5 oz), shredded
3 Tbsp ice water (I always wind up needing more. Set about 1/3 C aside, start at 3 Tbsp, then gradually add more if needed)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, tomato bouillon, smoked paprika and garlic powder. Add the butter and cut (either with 2 knives or a dough cutter) until the mixture resembles course meal. Add the cheddar and cut again.

Add the ice cold water, starting with 3 Tbsp and gradually adding more if necessary, until your dough begins to come together. You just want the dough to form a ball, you do not want it to be sticky.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a 14 inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour (I left mine over night and it was perfect).

Preheat oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on the prepared baking sheet. You don't have to worry too much about crowding the pan because the crisps don't expand very much. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.

*I over-cut and under-baked my first batch. After they cooled, I placed them back in a 350º oven for about 10 minutes and they crisped up nicely. On that note, they were perfectly delicious either way. Enjoy!


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