Friday, November 19, 2010

Crispy Crunchy Things

Crispy, cheesy things to eat are a personal weakness of mine. I never, ever resist anything that's crunchy and baked with a flavorful cheese. These crispy crackers are the bomb. Bake a tray of these right before everyone arrives, your house will smell heavenly!

Crispy Cheese Crackers

Yield about 11 dozen crackers

2 ½ (12 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups puffed rice cereal

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, or grease generously with butter or cooking spray.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cheese and butter together on medium speed. Add 2 cups of the flour, the pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and mix until well combined. Add the cereal and use your hands to combine it thoroughly with the flour mixture. (The electric mixer will crush the cereal too much.)

Combine the remaining ¼ cup flour and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Use your hands to roll the dough into balls about the size of fresh cherries. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. Dip the tines of a dinner fork into the flour mixture and press each ball down with a fork. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool. The crackers will keep in an for a week in an airtight tin.

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