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Making homemade baked cheese crackers

Posted April 15

Plug in the food processor, grab your favorite cookie cutters and find yourself on your way to creating baked cheese crackers, which make a great snack or tasty, crunchy companion to salads or soups.

This simple recipe calls for mild cheddar cheese, however, try preparing it with grated white, sharp or Colby. More or less of the spices can also be added to suit your taste preference. Aspiring young chefs will delight in the results of this mixture. I suggest rolling your dough to the thickness of pie crust. Cut with large or small cookie cutters, or if you have a good eye, use a pizza slicer to create tidy triangles or squares. Use fork tines to gently indent cracker dough before baking.

This recipe will yield 4½ dozen small, soft crackers. Bake longer for a crispy version with a brittle bite. These freeze very well in an airtight bag or container.

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BAKED CHEESE CRACKERS

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon fine salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed

8 ounces (or 2 cups) grated cheddar cheese

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons water

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, and garlic and onion powders. Add butter and cheese, and pulse until blended. Add in egg yolks and water, and pulse again until mixture forms a ball. Remove the dough and hand-knead, turning a few times.

Divide dough in half and roll between two pieces of waxed paper to about the thickness of a pie crust. Cut with cookie cutters, large or small. Place crackers on cookie sheet and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 325 degrees, and bake for 20 minutes. Slide parchment paper onto cooling racks. Cooking times vary with altitude; carefully watch the baking time when making baked cheese crackers for the first time.

Shannon M. Smurthwaite is a Southern California native, a freelance writer and the author of "Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook." Her food blog is at myitalianmama.com. She and her husband, Donald, live in Idaho. Email: shannonisitalian@gmail.com

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