Elle's Pecan and Cheddar Cheese Crackers
a variation on a number of recipes, most inspired by Cheese and Nut Biscuits recipe found in Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis
½ cup pecans
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
½ cup spelt flour (or substitute ½ cup whole wheat flour)
¾ cup cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In the bowl of a food processor, place the pecans and the Parmesan cheese. Pulse the processor until the pecans are finely chopped. Pour this mixture into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor (no need to clean out the bowl after chopping the pecans) place the butter and Cheddar cheese. Process until blended, just a bit after a ball starts to form around the blade.
Sift together the spelt or whole wheat flour, the cake flour, the salt and the cayenne pepper. Add to the Cheddar mixture in the food processor and pulse just until combined. Stop before a ball forms.
Take a rubber spatula and transfer all of the mixture into the pecan/Parmesan mixture. Stir with the spatula (or clean hands) very briefly and gently, just until nut mixture in combined with Cheddar mixture.
Make two or three logs using plastic wrap, with the rolls having a diameter or about an inch or inch and a half. Wrap the plastic wrap tightly around the logs and refrigerate until firm, at least an hour or two. (It is OK to let these refrigerate overnight. If not baking them within 24 hours, store in the freezer. Can be frozen for 1 month.)
When logs are firm, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place Silpat mat or parchment paper on two large cookie sheets. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into crackers about ¼ inch thick. Lay the crackers on the prepared pans, leaving about an inch between the crackers to allow them to color. The crackers don’t usually spread when baking.
Bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes. About halfway through baking, switch the pan on the top rack to the bottom rack and the pan from the bottom rack to the top rack for more even cooking.
Once removed from the oven, let cool on the pan a couple of minutes to firm up a bit, then transfer with a spatula to a rack to cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature for a day, or refrigerate. If storing more than a day, you may need to crisp them up in a 400 degree F oven for3-4 minutes before serving. Serve cooled. Makes about 5 dozen small crackers.