Friday, October 4, 2013

Cheesy Crackers – The Simple Joy of Homemade Crackers

Making homemade cheese crackers has never been very high on my must-do baking list, but with entertaining season rapidly approaching, I decided to give it a try to see just how vastly superior they are to their store-bought cousins.

I’m happy to report that they are better anything I’ve ever had out of a factory-sealed package. They have a much better texture with more crunch, and way more real, cheesy flavor. The only thing they have less of is ingredients; like by 45 to 5.


By the way, these cheesy crackers are based on a recipe I found on my friend, Joy the Baker’s blog. If you’re not familiar with her fine work, I encourage you to go check her out. She’s one of my favorites!

As far as the cheese goes, I went with three parts sharp cheddar to one part Parmigiano-Reggiano. I’m giving the cheese measurements below in weight, as the proportions to the rest of the ingredients are critical, and as you’ll see in the clip, measuring by cup is highly inaccurate. Since I used a fine grater on the very dry, hard cheese, it looks like well over a half-cup of cheese, but in fact was only one ounce.

This is why when recipes call for a cup of Parmesan cheese, some people will be adding 2-oz of cheese, and others 4-oz, simply depending on how they grated the cheese and packed the cup. But, when portioning cheese by weight, one ounce is always one ounce. 

Okay, I feel better. I hope you give these delicious homemade cheese crackers a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 36 crackers:
(Note: This is a half recipe, you should double to make enough for a party)
2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup lightly packed)
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/3 cup lightly packed)
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.25 oz by weight)
1 tablespoon cold water

42 comments:

Kyle Young said...

Green soup garnish. That is all.

md said...

Hi chef John.
Great recipe as always.

I was wondering if you could make Scotch eggs.

I love your videos. I hope you answer my foodwish.

have a great day.

-Marc

truthspew said...

Interesting but they look a little fussy to make. All that slicing, docking etc. I'd probably put together a five pointed jig to just hit em' once and punch the holes in em'.

Skayne said...

Could you recommend a substitute for the flour to make this low carb? Thanks for trying. :)

Chef John said...

Sorry, I can't!

Food Junkie said...

Skayne, there are lots of low carb flours substitutes available, all with pros and cons. There are commercial low carb products that are fairly widely available and on-line. Coconut or almond flours are also used but use Google to learn how to adjust recipes for your choice of substitute and to learn which ones are best for various recipes. There are a lot of low carb resources out there to help you.

Susan Hammitt said...

I have made these, but i just make them from a tube or roll of dough and cut like rounds. Makes it simpler

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

I am sooo definitely making these! Especially since my finicky lady-friend can often be heard proclaiming that Salt&Crunch is definitely a food group and defies anyone to contradict her. Thanks! You're da' best!

Leia Meyers said...

I just made these, using four oz. extra sharp cheddar because I couldn't find real Parmesan in my one-horse town and I didn't want to use the canned stuff. Just ate my first one. They are AMAZING. Easy, too.

I also substituted white wheat flour for the all-purpose and it worked just fine, so I imagine my crackers taste a bit heartier than the original version. Either way, great recipe. I'm sure I'll make it again.

Tom Pacey said...

Looks great but seems like the 'forking' step could be a pain. Any reason that couldn't be done in a food processor?

Tom Pacey said...

Looks great but seems like the 'forking' step could take a long time. Any reason that couldn't be done in a food processor?

sherrybella said...

Love this blog Chef John! I don't know how I stumbled onto this blog but I sure am glad I did. Your videos are so good! You are just charming, thank you do much for your recipes and the videos. I love seeing the process.

David J said...

I made them but they weren't super crispy. The bottoms were. Tops were kind of soft. Didn't cook them long enough?

blahh blah said...

Hey says the forking only takes a few minutes. The preperation time couldn't be more than 15-20 mins of actual work (not including refrigeration) just go for it. :)

blahh blah said...

Hey says the forking only takes a few minutes. The preperation time couldn't be more than 15-20 mins of actual work (not including refrigeration) just go for it. :)

Howard Bischof said...

I made the soup and these. What an amazing combo. After a proper forking I did feel the crumbles and yes it was good! This is and will be on the top 5 favorite recipe's of yours. Thanks

Jackie Reynolds said...

I'm making these today. I can't wait. They look amazing.
I have a question about food bloggers. It has been my experience that most of the bloggers I follow give credit if they use a recipe from another source. I know that you are really good about that.
I just saw a French Silk pie recipe that I have been making for over 35 years from a Maida Heater recipe book. There was no mention of where the recipe came from. I have seen this happen on this blogger's site before. Not to mention names but she is now a part of the Food Network.
I guess I'm wondering how ethical this is. Your opinion?

arcticfox said...

Oh, wow! They don't look fussy to me.. they look AWESOME! I'm making them tonight. :0)

Chef John said...

Jackie, I'll credit if it's a very specific recipe or technique and I'm using it pretty much as is, but for generic recipes like stews, soups, cookies, etc. most people don't bother. French silk is such a common recipe most people have no idea where they go it. To be honest, I I don't worry at all about this stuff. Also, the person bloggers usually credit have taken it from another cook anyway, so where you do stop crediting?

Chef John said...

The forking only takes 2 minutes and you can stop at the perfect point. The machine works great too, but dangerous for a beginner since it's easy to go too far.

Greginspace said...

If your hands are naturally icy (like mine) you can just sheet the flour into the cheese-butter; rub the mixture together in your fingertips to arrive and the desired crumb-I-ness.

I cut them into smaller squares so docking only required one poke in the middle with a skewer. The finished product looked like Cheeze-#ts or Cheese N*ps but tasted so much better :)

grumbleghoul said...

Any idea on the storage and shelf life for this? (not that they'd not be eaten up immediately)

Jackie Reynolds said...

Thanks for your reply, Chef John. You have helped make me less critical (but still a little bitchy at times and I know you have no help for that). :-)

Leslie Ng said...

Hi Chef John!

Is it possible to keep the dough overnight? I've got an exam on saturday morning and I need to get these out by the afternoon, so I don't think I've much time to prepare it on the day itself :(

Leslie Ng said...

Hi Chef John!

Is it possible to keep the dough overnight? I've got a party on saturday afternoon but I've got an exam in the morning, so I don't have much time to prepare the dough on the day itself! Please help! :(

MrWHITTERS8 said...

Hay Chef John

I know a great recipe you should make and share with the world.

Cullen Skink.

You should definitely take a look and plus it's delicious.

oiacob said...

Hi Chef John, you know what would be a good idea. Omit the salt in the mixture and just before baking these sprinkle a little bit of flake salt, with an egg wash to bind, on top. :D

philogaia said...

Skayne, I'm low carb as well and seldom eat grain. I notice that the entire recipe only has 1/2 c of flour in it. This is mostly cheese and butter. So unless you are very strict Atkins Induction this would be pretty low impact if you didn't eat the whole recipe. I worked out the carbs and for the whole recipe it is about 48. So that is 1.3g per cracker. Not bad.

BBQChick said...

Made these today, the bottoms were more hard than crisp, the rest was a bit chewy, i will try again though.

Oh Jackie Jackie said...

I'm making this right now! My hands smell like cheeeeeeeese :)

Oh Jackie Jackie said...

Hi Chef John!! I'm so excited for the cheesy crackers, and I'm making some for my coworkers and my boyfriend (who's a HUUUUGE cheese lover!). My doughs are chilling in the fridge right now, can't wait to cut them out and pop it into the oven!! My hands smell like cheese xD

xini zin said...

Can v use processed cheese or cheese spread or mozzarella for this recipe as v don't get wide varieties of cheese in our Indian City???plz give a substitute as I really want to make this.

Chef John said...

Sorry I don't think processed cheese will work.

southernhushpuppy said...

Thanks Chef John for this. My 10 yr. daughter was so excited and couldn't wait to make them. Hers were not as pretty as yours, but they were delicious and she was so proud!

Bryan said...

I just topped an apple pie with this recipe in lieu of the normal crust. We'll see how it turns out!

BBQChick said...

I found out why mine did not crisp up. I used pre-grated cheese which has anti-caking agents added. Makes them hard and or chewy.
Made these again with fresh grated Vermont white cheddar, and they were excellent.

Charles Hepler said...

CWH Cheese Thins:

Ingredients:

1 stick softened butter
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
2/3 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne
1 cup of plain flour

Directions:
mix together in a food processor till it forms a
Dough. Roll out to ~1/8” thick, press with fork,
in two directions, cut into 1” squares, and place
on 13 x18 pan. Bake at 375 F for ~13 minutes.

Daisylb Lee said...

I love these! I have made them a handful of times,
as party snacks and they are always a hit.
I have used a variety of cheese combination and they come out light and crisp every time.
I will say I believe in your rule of 5 holes; 6 is too many and 4 is not enough.
Thanks Chef John great recipe!

Saemmabel said...

These were fantastic! Thank you so much!

Peter Sices said...

With all the recipes suggesting measurement of ingredients by weight, I am going to have to get a scale of some sort. There are a lot of different scales of varying quality. Might you recommend a type or a brand to guide my search for a decent accurate scale?

frenny pradito said...

I just made this today.. since I can't find that orange color sharp cheddar cheese anywhere-I live in asia- I substitute it with just white cheddar cheese (processed cheese?). Unfortunately my crackers stay flat like when I put them in the oven. Advice?

Chef John said...

Sorry, no idea!