The other night I had a dream - in this dream I made homemade cheez-its, they were phenomenal. I haven't figured out that recipe yet - BUT - today at Kitchen Arts I decided to start by making some cheese crackers. They were quite well liked by the customers I offered them to, and everyone commented on how great it smells in the store.
I started by making Cheese Bees (I have to figure out how to copyright that name: for the time being I'll start by saying the ideas on this blog are the intellectual property of your's truly.)
I brushed the bees with a beaten egg and some brown sugar so they had a nice golden shine and just the littlest bit of sweetness. I like the shape and how they puffed up.
But after a while I got tired of cutting them all out so I decided to just make artisanal style crackers and roll them out realllly thin.
The larger crackers got brushed with olive oil and were then sprinkled with salt and extra grated cheese.
This was a lot of fun and a good way to spend a Sunday at work attracting customers with the perfect smell of baked cheesy goodness.
1 Cup Flour plus extra for dusting your work surface/hands/rollingpin
4 or 5oz milk
1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese: Parmesan, Piave Veccio, Gruyere, Cheddar, any hard cheese will do
Extra cheese for dusting the crackers
A good pinch of chili powder (this really helps them have that extra awesome SOMETHING, but you could also substitute your favorite spice or herbs)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Olive oil for flat crackers
Egg beaten with 1tbs water and 1tbs brown sugar for shapes.
Preheat your oven to 350F
-Cut the butter into the flour and mix until its crumbly.
-Add in the chili powder and salt and pepper (however much you feel comfortable with, I just did maybe 6 grinds of each salt and pepper.. just until it looked right)
-Mix in the cup and a half of grated cheese.
-Now mix in the milk until it starts to form a dough, then knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth and no longer sticky... you may need to add a small amount of flour.
For the bees or just cutting out a shape; roll half of the dough out until it is about 2mm thick cut out, place on your baking sheet, brush with egg mixture and bake for about 10 mins or until golden.
For the "artisanal" crackers break off a small piece of dough maybe twice the size of your thumb. -Roll it into a ball, then roll it out into a rough circle as thin as you possibly can. I used a mini silicone rolling pin which made this quite easy.
-Place on your baking sheet and bake until the edges start to brown, the middle should still be light colored but should be quite a bit dryer than a fresh sheet. (about 5 minutes)
-Brush on the olive oil, sprinkle the salt and the cheese.
-Bake until cheese is mostly melted and cracker has slightly browned more.