I can live without cookies, cake and chocolate but take cheese away and I just might expire on the spot. When I bought Laura Werlin's The All American Cheese and Wine Cookbook and found a recipe for cheese shortbread crackers, I knew I had just met my newest favorite recipe. This was a 'slice and bake' cookie I could get behind— butter, parmesan and cheddar with Maldon sea salt on top, what's not to love?
Cheddar Parmesan Shortbread Crackers (from Laura Werlin's The All American Cheese and Wine Cookbook)
4 ounces cheddar cheese, coarsely grated 2 ounces parmesan cheese, finely grated 3/4 cup flour 1/4 tsp dry mustard (I use Coleman's) 1/4 tsp kosher salt 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces 2 tbsp water, plus more if needed
In the bowl of a food processor, place all ingredients except the butter and water. Pulse 5 times. Add the butter and pulse again until the butter pieces are the size of BB's. Add the water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pulse just until the dough holds together. If the dough is still crumbly, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
Turn the dough out onto a large piece of waxed paper. Roll the dough into a log, 9 to 10 inches long, and square off the ends. Refrigerate, well wrapped, for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Or freeze it for up to 1 month.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
To make the crackers, cut the log into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crackers are a light golden color. Flip the crackers, sprinkle Maldon sea salt on top and bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are golden around the edges. Cool on a rack and serve at room temperature.
Makes about 3 dozen crackers.