Savory cheese crackers are even more fantastic when they become spicy rosemary cheese crackers! Absolutely a positive addiction, these cheddar cheese crackers are enhanced with fragrant rosemary needles, plus a nice punch of spicy red pepper flakes and cayenne powder. What results is pure magic!
There’s something so wonderful about making homemade crackers… when you look at the ingredients of boxed crackers (or boxed anything, for that matter) it’s hard to justify putting all that artificial chemical “stuff” in your mouth. I don’t even recognize most of it as food! When I became a natural foodie, (decades ago) the buzz phrase going around was: “If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!”
So, sometimes, I want something yummy and snack-ish, with pure natural ingredients, but I’m not in the mood for something sweet. That’s when I turn to a savory snack, like these spicy rosemary cheese crackers.
I’ve been a lover of savory cheese crackers for a long time. But sometime back, I happened to be in the middle of a cheese cracker emergency. That’s a real thing, by the way; if you’ve ever had one, you know what I mean! When I couldn’t find my usual cheese cracker recipe, I went searching for a substitute.
With her particular brand of entertaining humor, Rebecca’s post, on her archived Ezra Pound Cake blog, was able to convince me to try out these spicy rosemary cheese crackers.
Oh, my heavens, I don’t know what happens when those few ingredients come together in this recipe, but somehow, it’s pure magic.
Apparently, this is not a new recipe, but because it works so well, it gets passed around from person to person – for good reason! I’m not quite sure how I’ve missed it all these years!
It is really, really difficult to stop eating these once you start! Before you know it, the plate is nearly empty and you have to bring out your southern good manners. And you graciously allow the other person you are sharing these with to go ahead and polish off that last one or two. It will be tough, but you can do it! Probably. Maybe. Because you now know how to make more!
I had to laugh when I was filling out the recipe card for this post and I came to the “servings in this recipe” blank to fill in and I thought, “Well, the 2 of us were able to polish off the first batch I made in an embarrassingly short amount of time, but I really shouldn’t say that over 2 dozen crackers is 2 servings, should I?” ?
This recipe is so easy to throw together, especially if you have a food processor. I don’t have one, and it’s even easy to make strictly by hand, the old fashioned way. In fact, the only difficult part of this recipe is just the waiting for the dough to chill enough in the ‘fridge… because you have to wait that.much.longer before you can eat them! And believe me, once you’ve tasted these little cheesy wonders, you’ll see the truth in that statement!
Let’s Make Some Spicy Rosemary Cheese Crackers
I found that the best way to do this is to soften both the grated cheddar cheese and the butter to room temperature before starting. Some people use a food processor or a mixer, but I do mine by hand, so letting the butter and cheese soften up is key. But you can always process the dough if it feels too dry to come together after mixing by hand.
You’ll mix the cheese and butter together, then add in the flour, rosemary, salt, red pepper flakes and cayenne powder.
That’s the dough!
Then you’ll form the dough into two log-like rolls. If you want round crackers, you simply wrap the logs in saran wrap and chill until firm.
I decided to make squarish crackers, which is done by lightly pressing the log on a cutting board, turning a few times to form squared edges – they won’t be perfectly squared, but that’s okay. They look pretty with slightly rounded edges. Then you’ll wrap and chill the logs for about an hour – that’s where the patience comes in…
When the cheese logs are firm, you’ll slice them into ¼” crackers and place on a baking sheet, leaving some room between them, as they spread slightly. I’ve made these crackers so many times, and in various sizes… sometimes I roll the logs to a thinner diameter, so I get itty-bitty little bite-sized spicy rosemary cheese crackers like these:
It’s totally up to you how small or large you want to make them. For dipping, I like to make the larger version, which you can still pop into your mouth in one bite. But it’s large enough to hold some dip without getting your fingers sloppy.
Whether you choose tiny or large sized crackers, you’ll need to prick the centers of each cracker several times with a fork to keep them reasonably flat; if you omit this step, they will puff up too much. Then add a sprinkle of additional salt and into the oven they go!
These crackers bake from between 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
This recipe makes around 2½ dozen (or more) crackers, depending on how wide or narrow you form the dough logs, and how close to ¼ inch you slice them.
These spicy rosemary cheese crackers are so addicting! I like to think of it as a positive addiction, like meditation or exercise ? Everything in moderation, lovies…..
If you’re looking for a snack cracker to serve at your next gathering and you make these, you’ll find everyone gathered around that plate… but not for long. They’ll be gone so quickly, you’ll have to bring out reserves… so you might as well double the recipe to start with… you probably won’t have any leftovers, no matter how many you make…
I hope you try these spicy rosemary cheese crackers soon and that you enjoy them as much as we do. I like to enjoy them as a savory snack along with a nice cup of chai.
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Spicy Rosemary Cheese Crackers
- 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, softened
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary needles or 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary
- ¾ – 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- additional salt for sprinkling
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, rosemary, red pepper flakes and cayenne powder. Set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl, mix together softened cheese and butter until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients to creamed butter/cheese mixture and mix until a uniform dough develops. It may take a few minutes, don't lose faith! You can use your hands to knead it together. If needed, add to a food processor to hasten the process.
- Divide the dough in half. On a large piece of parchment paper, form each half into a long roll, using the flat of your palm to push the ends toward the center to keep the dough roll at about 2" diameter. (If you don't do this a few times, the roll will end up like a long skinny snake)
- If you want square crackers, press or tap the roll onto the parchment a few times, turning it to produce 4 square(ish) sides.
- Wrap each roll in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- After one hour (or whenever you are ready to bake the crackers, pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
- Unwrap one dough roll and slice in ¼" slices. Place crackers on baking sheets, leaving some space between, as they will spread slightly.
- Poke the center of each cracker a few times with a fork. (If you omit this step the crackers will be all puffy and not nice and flat!)
- Add additional salt to tops of crackers as desired.
- Bake for between 12-15 minutes, checking to make sure they do not over cook. Remove from oven when the edges and bottoms of the crackers are only slightly browned.
- Allow crackers to cool completely before serving.
- Crackers can be stored in an airtight container, but should be reheated briefly after one day (if they last that long!) to make sure they are crispy and have not gone soft.