There are many recipes like this out there (including “Cheez-it-ish Crackers” in Around My French Table) and I’m a sucker for every one of them. I’d rather eat a bowlful of these than candy. I’d also knock down a creme brulee to get to a baguette. Salty over sweet almost every time, that’s how I roll.
Miss Sara’s recipe is good and easy and I love love love the addition of rosemary and the crunchy salt sprinkled on top. If you’ve never made these you really need to add them to your repertoire right away. They are so simple (usually just grated cheese, a little flour, maybe some butter and herbs and spices) and can be made way ahead (you can either store the dough for 3 days in the fridge or bake and freeze for probably a month). After they’re cooked they keep for a few days too.
Be warned though: they are pretty spicy as written. In fact, I think I’m the only one who ate more than two of them when I served them as an appetizer. And that includes my husband, who is practically made out of cheese. To temper the heat I made the red pepper flakes optional below. I also gave you the option of using Kosher salt vs. sea salt because what is up with all the sea salt in everything lately???? Maybe I’m not buying the right kind or it’s from the wrong sea but I honestly cannot taste the difference, especially in a recipe with so much else going on flavor-wise.
Rosemary Cheese Crackers
Adapted from Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen
Makes approximately 2-1/2 dozen
2 cups (8 oz.) grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional; they will be fairly spicy with the pepper flakes)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Beat the cheese and butter together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or with an electric mixer) until well combined. Sift together the flour, rosemary, salt, red pepper flakes and cayenne in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the cheese mixture and mix just until thoroughly combined.
Place dough onto a piece of parchment paper and form into a log shape (round or square). Wrap tightly and refrigerate for several hours or overnight (or up to two days).
Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Slice log into 1/4″ slices and arrange on baking sheet (you don’t have to leave a lot of room between them, and they can even touch, just don’t smush them together). Sprinkle with salt and bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly brown around the edges. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for one month.