Better than Better Cheddars. These cheddar crackers are packed with pecans and spiced with thyme and hot sauce. Yes, a real treat that makes me nostalgic for cheesy cracker snacks from my childhood. The best part about these, aside from the taste and all, is that every single ingredient is recognizable and understood by anyone who can read the words in the recipe. A few ingredients, none of which are confusing. Sure, many store bought crackers and snacks do the trick, taste good and are easy to grab and munch… but it’s so nice to eat without the unnecessary ingredients and mystery flavoring. Hmm, I don’t know about you but all the “extras” lining the prepackaged foods in the markets are unsettling to me (creep me out), I much prefer to eat homemade snacks. I was excited to find this cheddar cheese cracker recipe from The Other Side of Fifty; what doesn’t sound appealing about cheese crackers? Not a thing… they’re delicious!
This recipe, like the Black Pepper Parmesan Cracker recipe, calls for a food processor. And still… I have no food processor but managed to make them anyway. The one problem that may come up is with the pecans – a stand mixer would not pulse and chop pecans up as a food processor would. I used my magic bullet, but if I didn’t have one I would would have used a knife. I love that there are pecans in this mix!
I made the two cracker types on the same day. I was intrigued to make the crackers side by side because they have a similar process but very different ingredients. A peppery parmesan vs. thyme, cheddar, and pecan. Yum… I’ll try both!
Cheddar Pecan Crackers
Adapted from The Other Side of Fifty
½ cup pecans
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (room temperature)
¼ cup butter (room temperature)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1-2 teaspoons milk or half and half (may not need)
Be sure to have your cheese shredded and butter set out to be at room temperature.
Pulse pecans until finely chopped. I left some bigger chunks in the mix as well. Place in a bowl and add flour. Whisk to combine.
Place cheese and butter in to the mixer/food processor and combine until smooth. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a nice creamy smooth mix out of it with the stand mixer. I think with both the cheese and the butter being at room temperature it was easier than I thought to combine until smooth. However, it would be some work to do by hand. Add thyme and hot sauce and mix until incorporated. I put twice as much thyme as suggested and I may even put more next time. The original recipe calls for ¼ teaspoon, I added ½ teaspoon. We rarely use dried thyme and we happened to have a jar of it left over from last year’s garden. For hot sauce I used Sriracha as suggested and I made my teaspoon heaping. It had an evident yet subtle spice – really nice.
Add the flour pecan mixture and blend until it comes together. It may be crumbly but it should still stick together. If your mix is too dry add a small amount of milk or half and half until it all comes together – I did not have to do this. Remove dough from the bowl and form into a ball. On a clean work surface roll ball into an 8″ log. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I refrigerated it overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. With a sharp knife slice log into 1/8″ rounds and place on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. I flipped my crackers half way through baking to brown on both sides, but that’s not necessary. Place them on a cooling rack to cool before stacking and storing.
These crackers were delicious. Light and crumbly like a shortbread cookie. Cheesy with a little spice and beautiful flecks of thyme and pecans. They make a great stand alone snack or of course are delicious accompanied by a dip!