Here's a little treat for the adult tricksters, although I'm sure kids of all ages who enjoy nuts will enjoy these too. I used a combination of aged white and yellow cheddar cheeses in these. I also love the suggestion of using blue cheese and pecans as an alternate version - I'll be trying those next.
Crispy and delicious, these are great with cocktails or wine. The dough needs to be refrigerated before baking so this also makes it a perfect 'do ahead' recipe.
Cheddar and Walnut Crackers with Sea Salt
Adapted from Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen (Culinary Institute of America)
Yield: About 80-100 small crackers depending on diameter and thickness
4 oz/113 g butter
8 oz/227 g aged Cheddar cheese, grated
6 oz/170 g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp/3 g salt
1/4 tsp/1.5 g cayenne pepper (optional)
2 oz/57 g finely chopped walnuts
Sea salt for sprinkling over crackers
My note: The original recipes calls for 1 teaspoon of salt added to the cracker dough. I reduced that by half because I wanted to sprinkle a little sea salt on the cracker discs just before baking.
Cream the butter; add cheese and mix well. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Blend in the nuts.
Roll out into 3 logs, about 1 1/2 in/4 cm in diameter. Chill at least 1 hour.
Cut into slices 1/8 in/3 mm thick and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
Bake at 350°F/175°C for about 8 to 10 minutes until crisp. (In my oven they needed a longer baking time - about 10-12 minutes)
Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Serve within 3 days.
Variation: Blue Cheese and Pecan Crackers: Substitute an equal amount of blue cheese for the Cheddar and pecans for the walnuts.