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Homemade Cheese Crackers: A Whole-Grain, Healthy Treat

cheddar-cheese-crackers1Having a Christmas party? Looking for a holiday treat that’s not sweet? Need something besides cookies to use your cookie cutters on? Try these homemade cheese crackers. They have a really appealing cheesy taste and fabulous, flaky texture. They’re great on their own, but they’re also strong enough to be used with dip. And since they’re made with whole-grain and real cheese, they’re a healthy, kid-friendly finger food option for your holiday celebration.

The dough is similar to what we use for southern-style cheese straws, just rolled out flat. You can make the dough pretty far in advance and refrigerate to save yourself some time if you’re entertaining. Or for a great cooking activity with kids, cutting out the shapes is something, they can definitely handle.
Unlike traditional southern cheese straws, these go easy on the heat so as to be more kid-friendly. Consider making a non-spicy and spicy batch, or, if your party will be adults only, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon of spicy paprika.

Homemade Cheese Crackers

4 oz cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons parmesan or pecorino
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch paprika
pinch red pepper
2 tablespoons yogurt

Using the grater attachment on your food processor, grate all the cheese. Leave it in the bowl, and pulse in the flour, parmesan, butter, salt, mustard and spices. At this point the dough will be crumbly. Add the yogurt and pulse a few times, just until the dough holds together.

Separate the dough into 2 sections, wrap on plastic and refrigerate for at least twenty minutes or a couple of days. When you are ready to roll the dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and cut parchment pieces to cover your baking sheets. Roll out another piece of parchment, lightly flour it, and roll the first section of dough to 1/4 inch thick. Using small cookie cutter, or a small glass, cut out your desired shapes. Place them 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the crackers from the baking sheets and set aside to cool. Serve immediately, or tightly seal and eat within a few days, or securely wrap and freeze.

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