Let’s make homemade cheese crackers! When my nephew comes to stay with us he likes to stand in the big front window to watch the buses come up the hill. From this viewpoint he can also see a number of plastic owls perched amidst the turrets and gingerbread of the Victorian houses he calls “castles”. I think the owls are there to keep the pigeons in check, but quite honestly, I’m not sure they’re very effective. I found an antique owl cookie cutter recently, and thought it would be fun to bake owl shaped crackers with Jack when he came to stay with us last week. I used the cheese cracker recipe from Alana Chernila’s The Homemade Pantry, and never looked back. They deliver big-time on the cheese flavor, are snappy and crisp, and you can bake them off at your convenience.
Cheese Crackers Are Better with Good Cheese
One word of advice, don’t skimp on the quality of cheese you use here. It’s where much of the flavor in these crackers comes from. I used a strong white cheddar cheese, but you can certainly use a good orange cheddar. Or branch out from cheddar altogether – you know a Gruyere version is going to be good. And it might take some experimenting, but a blue cheese version would be worth trying to get right. Or how about a blend?
Here (above) you see the dough prior to rolling it out. You can wrap this tightly with plastic and freeze for later use. Or make double, and freeze half. Be sure to label your dough with a “cheese cracker” note, date it, and use within six months.
When you roll the dough a bit thin, you tend to get crisper crackers. Thicker you might not get as much snap once the cheese crackers have cooled. Play around with thickness to get your crackers just the way you like it.
I baked half of these cheese crackers as owls, and then did the remaining half as teardrops.
A shot I took with my Land Camera of Wayne reading and practicing the alphabet with Jack after baking cheese crackers. It’s hard to believe this is the same little guy.
It’s fun to find old metal cutters for crackers and cookies. I’ve collected a bunch over the years at flea markets and yard sales. Keep your eyes peeled!
Take a minute to have a look at Alana’s book – it’s lovely, and it has all sorts of recipes related to making everyday pantry items – toaster pastries, ketchup, mozzarella, instant oatmeal, peanut butter cups, and yogurt. You can find Alana here, and here and here.
Thanks for the inspiration A – hope to cross paths again soon!