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homemade cheese crackers

(post, Elizabeth Stark)

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I have a pretty serious thing for cheese crackers and cheesy goodness in general. Because most crackers are really not that good for you, I have tried to put some distance between me and my beloved crackers. But when your two year-old shares your love and talks about them all the time, you get to thinking about cheese crackers.

And so yesterday my daughter and I made these crackers together. The recipe is straightforward and forgiving. Just use plenty of flour while rolling out the dough. I put some red pepper flakes and hungarian hot paprika into the dough, and though the crackers are delicious, you might want to add them sparingly for kid friendliness. I made my crackers into stars, but you could roll the dough and cut into strips for cheese straws.

Homemade Cheese Crackers (adapted from the Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook)

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 stick room temperature butter
2 tablespoons quark, sour cream, or half and half
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon hungarian hot paprika (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a food processor combine the cheese, flour, spices, and butter. Pulse several times until everything is combined and crumb-like. Add the quark and give a couple of pulses. Check the salt levels, add more if needed, then lightly knead into a ball, divide into two flats, wrap in plastic and set aside for a few minutes.

Roll one of the dough rounds on a well-floured surface. Cut out into your preferred shape (I used 1" stars and rounds, but strips or larger round would be great too). Place the shapes onto the cookie sheet and bake until set and slightly firm for 10-12 minutes.

Carefully remove from cookie sheet and serve. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.