Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Smoky Cheddar Cheese Spritz Crackers

As shared by Mari of Once Upon a Plate
These are really good for snacking, on a cheese/fruit tray, or served along with soups or salads.

Special equipment needed: A cookie press and disk/s of your choice


  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese (finely shredded)*
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika** (to make them 'smoky', see below)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper **

  1. Center rack in middle of oven, preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) cream the Cheddar cheese, butter and Worcestershire sauce together until smooth and well combined.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until a smooth dough is formed.
  5. Fill cookie press with dough and press dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet. 
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are a light golden brown.*** (See special tips, below)
  7. Allow to cool slightly and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to one week.
* For best results always shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese contains additives that preserve it and prevent it from clumping, it can adversely affect end results. 

Don't refrigerate dough, use at room temperature. Press crackers onto
un-greased cookie sheet (cookie sheets should also be at room temperature.)  Wash cookie sheet/s between batches and make sure they are cool (room temperature) before pressing next batch. If your room is very cold, you might want to bring the
dough to a warmer part of the house to soften it up a bit, the cookies/crackers will release from the press more cleanly if the dough is not too firm/cold.

I always add the following to these cheese crackers (optional):
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
May use part smoked paprika instead of plain
May increase cayenne if you like spicy crackers

***For crispy crackers:
I like my crackers to be crispy, yet just very faintly colored (not too brown), so they retain their pretty color.  Bake and cool the batch ofcookies.  When they are cool, place in single layer on shallow rimmed baking sheets. Allow to crisp up in a preheated 175ºF oven for 7 to 14 minutes, they should barely color. Remove to cooling racks, crackers will crisp further as they cool.
Alternately, follow directions above but instead place in oven set to 'warm' for several minutes until they crisp up, then turn off oven and leave ajar until crackers are cool.

Store in airtight containers for a week or so.  These methods also work well in re-crisping crackers that are a few days old, if they need it. (Makes a fine gift from the kitchen, too!)