With New Years Eve fast approaching, many people are looking for unique foods to serve at their midnight soiree. One of the recipes we always turn to for our cheese & cracker platter is my wife's Cheddar Sesame Crackers. These are very simple to prepare, very flavorful, made with whole wheat, and a single recipe will produce four to five dozen crackers.
People at your party will be addicted to these and being that most will get crackers from a box, they will be amazed that you made them from scratch so amazed that they will also think you can walk on water!
Happy New Year to you. I wish you all the best of health, happiness, and prosperity in 2012.
Cheddar Sesame Crackers
Recipe created by Katherine Desormeaux (Mrs. Chef Dez)
"Using strong cheddar will give these crackers the best cheese flavor"
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups grated old cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 (one quarter) tsp paprika
1/4 (one quarter) tsp ground cayenne (optional)
1/2 (one half) cup butter, frozen
1/2 (one half) cup water
Extra whole wheat flour for rolling
1/4 (one quarter) to 1/3 (one third) cup sesame seeds
1.Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.Mix the flour, cheddar, sugar, salt, paprika, cayenne together in a bowl. Using a standard cheese grater, grate the frozen butter into this dry mixture and toss to mix. Add the water and mix until just combined to form a dough - it will seem dry when you first start mixing it, but just be patient as it will come together as a smooth dough. Cut the dough into four equal parts.
3.Flatten out one portion of dough in your hands and sprinkle a moderate amount of flour on the counter and a small amount of flour on top of the portion of the dough. Start rolling out the dough while ensuring the underside stays well floured. When the top of the dough starts to stick to the rolling pin sprinkle it with a generous amount of sesame seeds and roll the seeds onto the dough until it is approximately 1/8th of an inch thick. Note: if you use too much flour on the top of the dough, the sesame seeds will not stick; the seeds will help to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Cut the rolled dough into desired shapes and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for approximately five to six minutes or until they have just turned brown. Because of the cheddar cheese and sesame seeds they must be watched closely to ensure they don't burn. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the other 3 portions of dough.
4.When completely cooled, store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to five days. Makes approximately four to five dozen depending on how small you cut the shapes.
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Chef Dez is a Food Columnist, Culinary Instructor & Cooking Show Performer. Visit him at www.chefdez.com
The next "Chef Dez on Cooking" column will appear approximately January 6/12.
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