Cheddar Cheese Coins

These crisp and buttery crackers with a sharp cheddar bite are perfect for snacking on their own or served topped with prosciutto.

Cheddar Cheese Coins
Cheddar Cheese Coins. Photo:

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

These savory snacks have a crisp texture, buttery mouthfeel, and a sharp, cheese-filled bite. When creating this recipe, Lisa Donovan drew inspiration from her cheese straw recipe, a variation of a recipe from the iconic culinary duo Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, and then morphed it into a cracker. Part of the beauty of this recipe is that it’s easy to create variations on it, once you have mastered the basic process. Here are three tasty variations on cheddar cheese coins to try: 

Green Chile and Cornmeal Coins

In step 1, prepare recipe as directed, substituting cornstarch with 2 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal and dry mustard with 1 tablespoon Hatch green chile powder (such as Desert Provisions). When adding water to butter mixture, add 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Crystal or Tabasco) with first addition of water. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Benne and Black Pepper Coins

Heat 1 tablespoon benne seeds and 2 teaspoons black pepper in a cast-iron skillet over medium, shaking skillet occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Add seed mixture to cheese mixture with first addition of butter in step 1. In step 4, roll each unsliced dough log in 1/4 cup benne seeds to coat. Proceed with recipe.

Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Coins (Aka, An Ode To Allan Benton) 

In step 1, reduce salt amount to 1/2 teaspoon and add 3 to 4 slices cooked, cooled, and chopped Benton’s bacon to cheese mixture with first addition of butter. Proceed with recipe as directed.


  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/8 ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 3 tablespoons water


  1. Process cheese, flour, cornstarch, mustard, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until mixture is well combined and forms small beads, about 30 seconds. Add butter in 3 additions, pulsing 5 to 6 times after each addition, until mixture is the texture of wet sand, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. With processor running, pour 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time, through food chute, processing just until dough comes together in a mass, 20 to 25 seconds. (Be sure to stop processing once dough forms — you can continue to knead cheese mixture into a ball on a clean work surface if you’re unsure. It is important not to work it to death.)

  2. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 9- to 10-inch log on a clean work surface. Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap. Transfer dough logs to refrigerator; chill until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

  3. Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in middle and lower third positions. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  4. Unwrap 1 dough log; slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick coins to yield about 30 coins, and arrange about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

  5. Bake in preheated oven until centers of cheese coins are set but not crisp and edges and bottom sides of coins are golden brown and crisp, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets between middle and bottom racks halfway through baking time. Remove cheese coins from oven, and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes. (Cheese coins will continue to crisp as they cool.)

  6. Line baking sheets with fresh parchment paper, and repeat steps 4 and 5 with remaining dough log. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead

Cheese coin logs can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 month. Let thaw in refrigerator overnight (12 hours) before slicing and baking. Baked coins may be stored in an airtight container with 1 bread slice (to help keep coins from going stale) at room temperature up to 3 days.

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