Homemade Cheese Crackers Recipe

The fantastic homemade cheese crackers I made for my nephew when he came to stay last week. Inspired by a recipe from Alana Chernila's The Homemade Pantry.

Homemade Cheese Crackers

Let's make homemade cheese crackers! When my nephew comes to stay with us he likes to stand in the big front window to watch the buses come up the hill. From this viewpoint he can also see a number of plastic owls perched amidst the turrets and gingerbread of the Victorian houses he calls "castles". I think the owls are there to keep the pigeons in check, but quite honestly, I'm not sure they're very effective. I found an antique owl cookie cutter recently, and thought it would be fun to bake owl shaped crackers with Jack when he came to stay with us last week. I used the cheese cracker recipe from Alana Chernila's The Homemade Pantry, and never looked back. They deliver big-time on the cheese flavor, are snappy and crisp, and you can bake them off at your convenience.
Homemade Cheese Crackers on a Baking Sheet

Cheese Crackers Are Better with Good Cheese

One word of advice, don't skimp on the quality of cheese you use here. It's where much of the flavor in these crackers comes from. I used a strong white cheddar cheese, but you can certainly use a good orange cheddar. Or branch out from cheddar altogether - you know a Gruyere version is going to be good. And it might take some experimenting, but a blue cheese version would be worth trying to get right. Or how about a blend?

Homemade Cheese Cracker Dough
Here (above) you see the dough prior to rolling it out. You can wrap this tightly with plastic and freeze for later use. Or make double, and freeze half. Be sure to label your dough with a "cheese cracker" note, date it, and use within six months.
Dough rolled on Marble Counter
When you roll the dough a bit thin, you tend to get crisper crackers. Thicker you might not get as much snap once the cheese crackers have cooled. Play around with thickness to get your crackers just the way you like it.
Homemade Cheese Cracker Dough Before Baking
I baked half of these cheese crackers as owls, and then did the remaining half as teardrops. 
Cracker Dough on Baking Sheet
A shot I took with my Land Camera of Wayne reading and practicing the alphabet with Jack after baking cheese crackers. It's hard to believe this is the same little guy.Jack after Baking Crackers
It's fun to find old metal cutters for crackers and cookies. I've collected a bunch over the years at flea markets and yard sales. Keep your eyes peeled!
Cheese Crackers fresh from the Oven

Take a minute to have a look at Alana's book - it's lovely, and it has all sorts of recipes related to making everyday pantry items - toaster pastries, ketchup, mozzarella, instant oatmeal, peanut butter cups, and yogurt. You can find Alana here, and here and here.

Thanks for the inspiration A - hope to cross paths again soon!

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Homemade Cheese Crackers

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5 from 2 votes

I took a few liberties with Alana's recipe. The recipe below takes my tweaks into consideration - using whole wheat pastry flour, etc. Any unbaked dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen for a couple of months. Alana also indicates you can re-crisp baked crackers in a 375F / 190C oven for 5 minutes if you like.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus additional for baking sheets
  • 1 1/2 cups / 7 oz / 200g whole wheat pastry flour, plus more for the counter
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 6 ounces / 170 g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 ice cube
  • seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the butter, flour, dry mustard, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until the mixture is crumbly and the butter starts to integrate into the mixture, about 30 seconds. Add the cheese and mix again on low speed for a few seconds.
  2. In a measuring cup, combine 3/4 cup water, the vinegar, and the ice cube, and let sit for a moment to get cold. Add 6 tablespoons of the vinegar mixture to the dough and mix on medium speed for 20 seconds. Continue to add liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clings in a ball to the beater. Then mix for an additional 30 seconds. Mound the dough into a ball, wrap it in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours, and up to 3 days.
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 15 minutes before you are ready to roll it out. Preheat the oven to 325F / 160C and grease two baking sheets. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, press into a flat disc, and roll it with a rolling pin until the dough is 1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using a knife or cutter. Any leftover dough can be rerolled for more crackers.
  4. With a spatula, transfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheets, allowing nearly an inch between crackers. If you're adding seeds as an accent, press them gently in place now. Bake until the bottoms are browned, and the tops take on a good amount of color as well - 18 - 25 minutes, depending on how thick your crackers actually are. And rotate the sheets halfway through baking (or when the crackers in the back look like they are browning more quickly than the front). Turn off the oven, prop open the oven door with a metal or wooden spoon, and allow the crackers to crisp as the oven cools - at least twenty minutes.
Notes

Makes 3-4 dozen small/medium crackers.

Adapted from Alana Chernila's The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making. Published by Clarkson Potter April 2012.

Serves
48
Prep Time
50 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

Beautiful post. I love the owls! Adorable.

Dena

Those little owls are adorable. Awesome cracker recipe - definitely will try it soon!

Julia {The Roasted Root}

Those owls are amazing! (The cookies themselves sound great too, of course.) I have some whole wheat pastry flour I've been needing to use up, so I'm happy to see it in there. Your crackers paired with some tomato soup seem just right on this dreary Boston day.

A Plum By Any Other Name

I adore Alana's book and these are pretty much the cutest crackers ever.

Winnie

I've had big plans to make homemade cheese crackers for a while now, but your cute crackers put my dreams of crispy cheesy crackery goodness to shame! Borin ol me was just goin to make em into squares!

Part Time House Wife

I have been looking at Alana's book and thinking about buying it for some time now... Thanks for the recommendation! Your crackers are adorable, and almost anything with cheese is a winner in my book!

Jill @ 42potatoes

so lovely and simple. i bet these would translate easily and successfully into little gluten-free versions too... may have to give them a go!

gretchen

Cute! But I love the flowers on the kitchen counter from pic. 2!

danielle

Love the recipe! I will try to make them with spelt flour only, it should work. I love your baking sheets too! Are they cast iron? Vintage?

Mila

These cookies look delicious! I would try them wirh parmesan or gruyere! Maybe add some spices to them. What can i use as a substitute for the white wine vinegar?

LaMereCulinaire

I have been telling my kids that I want to make homemade crackers for some time and these ones look wonderful and simple, so no excuses. I am always looking for healthy non-processed snacks to pack the kids for school. I am also going to check out Alana's book. Thanks for the recommendation.

jackie @ marin mama cooks

These are gorgeous and adorable. I could sit here in the rain and just munch away on these crackers.

Belinda @zomppa

Finally a cheese cracker recipe I want to try. The difference is as simple as the flours. Somehow I was not moved to make the recipes that called for white flour, even though I spend a lot of time swapping at least some of the white flour with whole wheat flour in my baking.

Robin (Hippo Flambe)

I love the owl cracker with pumpkin seed eyes ! So lovely:)

celia

Those owl crackers are adorable! My little sisters would love them. Homemade crackers have been on my list of things to try... thanks for the recipe!

ileana

oh these are too cute! what a special homemade snack!

Simply Life

These crackers sound delightful! And your nephew is so adorable. Love those little owls!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Where did you get those cool baking sheets?

Kathryn

I love cheese! I've tried two supermarket puff pastry cheese stick versions now and am very bad at making a packet last very long. Definitely going to try and make these with gruyère as you suggest...love how you made the owl eyes as well :) YUM!

this is lemonade

I love the owl cookie cutter. These are wonderfully artistic and sound delicious. Can't wait to try them. I'll also be on the lookout for an owl cookie cutter when I'm searching through vintage treasures. What are the chances?

Colleen

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