It’s nearly New Year. I don’t want to be all ‘Bah Humbug!’ but I’m not a fan of Hogmanay. Don’t know why, but it’s never been my favourite time of year, I’m much more a Christmas person.
We usually watch the London fireworks on the TV, and always say we will go down for New Year to see them first-hand, but always end up going later in the month.
Anyway, I digress! If you are having folk around for New Year, or are staying in with some nibbles and wine, like us, this easy recipe may be for you.
I love those cheesy goldfish crackers and there are others on the market now, such as llama’s and other random shapes. So I have made these addictive cheese crackers in the shape of owls. This may be fitting to eat when watching the ‘Hootenanny’ on the box(!).
This is just like making a cheese pastry - flour, butter, water and cheese, bit of salt and that’s it. Get strong flavoured cheddar, as that is what makes these nibbly delights. You can of course cut into any small shape you fancy. But try make sure they are no more than 1/8 inch thick. Any thicker and they have no crunch to them. They have a scone like texture instead, which is not that bad I suppose.
120 grams plain flour
60 grams cold butter, cubed
Pinch of salt
220 grams strong cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cold water
Adapted from Food4Tots.com
Pre-heat the oven to 170C and line a couple of cookie sheets with greaseproof paper.
In a food processor pulse together the flour, butter and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs (if you don’t have a food processor, cut the butter in with two knives).
Place the breadcrumb mix into a large bowl and add the cheese. Mix the cheddar through with your fingers. Add the two tablespoons of water and with your hands mix until a solid ball of dough forms. Split the ball in half and form them into discs. Wrap each half in clingfilm place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Take one dough disc out and with a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a lightly floured worktop until it is 1/8 inch thick.
Cut out shapes with whatever cutter you are using and transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. With the leftovers, roll back into a ball and roll out again until is all used up. Repeat with the other disc of dough.
Bake the crackers in the oven for 15 minutes. Let them bake as long as you dare without them beginning to burn. They will turn darker, but this is cheese browning. The darker they get, the crispier they will be.
Let them cool for a few minutes before transferring to an airtight container to store them. They will last for a couple of days if you can resist them that long – enjoy!