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Cheddar-and-Cayenne Crackers

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: makes about 10 dozen crackers
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

Natalie Chanin, who has a clothing label called Alabama Chanin, makes cheddar crackers with a deep cheesy flavor and a crispy, blistery texture. She adds a touch of cayenne pepper for kick.

  1. 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  5. Dash of hot sauce
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  1. In a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter with the cheese, salt, cayenne and hot sauce at medium speed until blended. Add the 1 1/2 cups of flour and beat at low speed, scraping the side and bottom of the bowl, until a soft dough forms. (Alternatively, mix the dough with a handheld mixer.) Pat the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Work with 1 disk of dough at a time and keep the other one refrigerated: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-by-10-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 2-by-1-inch strips. Transfer the strips to the baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crackers are lightly browned, shifting the baking sheets halfway through. Slide the paper onto racks and let the crackers cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Make Ahead The cracker dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The baked crackers can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Recrisp in a warm oven.