Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Because American Cheese Singles are SO Legacy

or, The Ecumenical Cheese Weasel

For all the deserving techies in your life, here's a secret recipe straight from the Cheese Weasel's workshop (ain't industrial espionage grand?). These crackers are gluten-free and, in honor of the season, contain no leavening.

Most people, when they try a gluten-free recipe for the first time, are disappointed by the lack of the wheat taste and consistency.  However, the taste and texture of these crackers are so dominated by cheese that you'll never miss the wheat. And of course, there's no reason not to use wheat flour if you prefer.

Cheese Weasel Crackers

makes 100+ crackers
you can upsize the recipe by increasing the first 3 ingredients proportionally - once you reach a double batch, you should probably upsize everything

8 oz sharp Cheddar cheese (the cheese will be the predominant flavor, so choose a cheese you like)
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1 cup gluten free flour (I use a mix of rice and tapioca flours, but choose your favorite)
1/4 cup flax seed meal (optional)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp instant minced onion
1/8 tsp cayenne

Shred the cheese in a food processor and dump into another bowl. Switch to the mixing blade and combine the butter and flour in the food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the flax seed meal and flavorings - pulse to combine. Add the shredded cheese and process to incorporate. The mixture will still be more crumble than dough - this is okay.

Grab a handful of dough and roll it out into a log about 1 inch in diameter. This may take several tries because the dough is not naturally inclined to be cohesive. Roll out the rest of the dough in same manner, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least several hours.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut logs into 1/4 inch slices. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Using a metal pancake turner, remove from cookie sheet and let cool on wire racks. Place a few crackers each in small plastic bags and tuck under the computer keyboards of deserving techies.

NOTE: These crackers are quite fragile, so really, the bag shouldn't go directly under the keyboard, but you can at least tuck a corner underneath. Larger crackers would probably be marginally more sturdy (but still not proof against oblivious typing). Using wheat flour instead of gluten-free flour might also help.