cheez-its

When your boss hands you a block of Gruyere, you make Cheez-Its. No joke–it’s science. And when you make Cheez-Its, you use this recipe, from Around My French Table a la Dorie Greenspan.

In the past, I’ve tried a recipe from Gilt Taste (which, of course, is lost in the archives by now), and this one, via Epicurious, from Gourmet Magazine. The first had great flavor, but was never crisp enough. The second was excellent, but was too reminiscent of a pie crust, and I’m not the biggest fan of pie crust (I know I’m alone with that one).

But this recipe…This one is special. I put my Gruyere to good use and made two batches. The first go-ahead, I followed the recipe exactly. The second time around, I made some changes (starred items). Here goes nothing:

1 stick cold butter, cubed
1/4 pound Gruyere, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
pinch plus cayenne
1/4 cup whole wheat flour*
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp dried rosemary*, gently crushed between your fingers

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
2. Pulse a few times to break up the butter, and then process until the ingredients come together and make a loose dough.
3. Turn dough onto a clean counter and knead until the dough just comes together.
4. Form the dough into a long log* and wrap with plastic wrap.
5. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice* into 1/4-inch thick rounds. (Note: dough is easier to slice when chilled.)
8. Place rounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how dark you like them (or how old your oven is, in my case). Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.
9. Remove from the oven and cool.
10. Enjoy slightly warm or room temperature (my preference).

Makes about 42 crackers (diameter of log was about 1.25″).

Okay so, this isn’t the healthiest. I did manage to sneak some whole wheat flour in, and I feel confident increasing it to half the total amount of flour. I also feel confident experimenting with other herbs. Also, do I sense a pork presence (pancetta??) in this cracker’s future?!…

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