Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cheese Crackers with Almond Flour


Last year I started making homemade cheese crackers and they instantly became my favorite savory treat to serve during the festive fall and winter months.


A long-time fan of Cheez-It crackers, I was delighted to be making a healthier version with real cheddar cheese and whole wheat flour. For most of 2013, though, I’ve been baking gluten-free so these homemade cheese crackers have not appeared and I’ve missed them. I enjoy the tastes, textures and nutrition in other flours such as coconut, almond and buckwheat and find I feel much better eating them. So, with the holiday season approaching quickly, it’s time to recreate these cheesy nibbles!


I pulled out my hand grater and a started grating cheddar cheese. The cheese went into the food processor along with some almond flour, turmeric, a bit of cayenne pepper, butter, salt and an egg. After pulsing a few times, I dumped the rough dough out and wrapped it up to chill. At this point, you can keep the dough in the fridge for a couple of days until you’re ready to bake.


After rolling out the dough, I started cutting different shapes. This week, we are celebrating both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (they won’t overlap again for 79,000 years!) so in honor of this I cut out turkeys and dreidels. You can also cut the dough into the more “traditional” Cheez- It square shape. But no matter what shape you choose, be sure to sprinkle the tops with a healthy pinch of flaky sea salt before baking. That salty punch is just delicious and one of the reasons I can’t stop eating these once I start.


I’ve also rolled, cut and frozen the dough ahead of time, making it easy to pull out and pop into the oven for a quick appetizer. This is especially helpful when prepping ahead for Thanksgiving. Early in the morning, before the turkey goes in the oven, just bake the frozen dough (add a minute or two to the baking time) and you’ll have a great snack to hold hungry guests over until the big feast is ready.


Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheese Crackers with Almond Flour
Quantity depends upon what size cookie cutter you use or size of squares you cut

2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
2 cups finely ground, blanched almond flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or Aleppo pepper (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into smaller bits
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cheese, almond flour, egg, turmeric, cayenne, butter and kosher salt together until a rough dough forms. Remove the dough, shape into a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill the dough for at least an hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into quarters. Place one quarter of the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll out into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into squares or use your favorite cookie cutters. Place the cut outs on the prepared pan and sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt on top of each. Bake until crispy and just beginning to brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Repeat with the remaining dough. You can also roll and cut the dough, then freeze on a baking sheet. When baking, add a minute or 2 to the baking time.

The crackers are lovely on the day they’re baked or keep well overnight at room temperature in a well-sealed container.

24 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for letting me know, Senka! I appreciate you stopping by and will check out Mytaste.com. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  2. Making crackers from scratch is so rewarding! We can choose the ingredients and spices that we like! All that magnificent cheddar makes for such a festive fall cracker. Paired with the cookie cutter shapes they are indeed perfect for this weeks colliding holidays!

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    1. Thank you so much, Deb! Colliding holidays is an accurate description. Lots of traditions and foods in just a few days - all good! I hope you have a warm holiday celebration this week.

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  3. I must try to make my own crackers. These look great for my cheese loving family.

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    1. Thank you, Lynda! It's nice to have a savory treat to offer during the holiday season to help balance out all the sweets, too. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Happy Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, your crackers are wonderful. I am a cheez it fan, always have been would love to try for a more healthful alternative. How would these travel? Thinking of adding to my gift baskets, would you recommend that?

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne! I'm delighted you're thinking of making these. I think the crackers would travel well if you cut them into small squares (less likely to break) and baked them until they are quite crisp. The almond flour is moist and I found the crackers that didn't bake as long (or were a little thicker) were a bit soft the next day. Let me know how they turn out. Wishing you a warm, joyful Thanksgiving!

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  5. Nice! I also used to have a major addiction to cheese crackers! What a great alternative Hannah! P.S. Happy Thanksgivukkah xoxoxo

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    1. Happy Thanksgivukkah to you, Alyssa! I know your family is in for a delicious celebration. Warm hugs to you!

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  6. How awesome that these work just as well with almond flour! These sound wonderful.

    Enjoy your holidays! (I notice the absence of the word Thanksgivukkah. Every time I've seen it, I cringe. I'm glad you've acknowledged the celebrations separately!)

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    1. Thank you, Brianne! I was happy to find almond flour works well, too. There's a lot of moisture in the almonds so baking until crispy is the key. It's a bit crazy to have both holidays this week but it should be a fun time celebrating each one. Sam will be home from college, too, and I just can't wait to have our family together. I hope you have a very happy, delicious Thanksgiving!

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  7. This is awesome! We're just getting into making our own crackers, and need a gluten-free one (a good friend is GF). These looks gorgeous! And I'll bet the flavor is awesome. Thanks! Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thank you, John! I hope you enjoy them. Now that I've started making crackers at home I'm looking forward to trying more varieties. - maybe some with herbs or seeds. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

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  8. I love cheese crackers but have never made them with almond flour...they have to be delicious.

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    1. Thanks, Karen! They are tasty to nibble on and tend to disappear quickly. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

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  9. These are so pretty! I love cheese crackers. Hope you are having a Happy Hanukkah!

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    1. Thank you so much, Brooke! These cheese crackers would go well with your cheese ball! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving.and are having fun with holiday baking.

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    2. GASP! They would go well with the cheese ball! Youragenius!

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  10. Those look awesome and sooo good Hannah! Almond flour is my absolute favorite "flour" and what I use the most. I make crackers with them as well. I love how you made them so pretty with the festive cutouts! So festive and perfect for the holidays! :)

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    1. Thank you, Brandi! I appreciate your kind words. Almond flour is my favorite, too. I'm baking almost all my pie crusts and cookies with it these days. I hope you're enjoying a wonderful holiday season so far!

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  11. Thank you Hannah--these look great. I can't wait to make them for my family!

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    1. My pleasure, Mark! I hope you all enjoy them. I'm sure you've been doing some delicious eating in your family this past week with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Happy Hanukkah!

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