I haven’t tackled that many cracker recipes in my life. I have made a few, to be sure, but they’re never at the top of my list of must-bakes. I have a few cracker recipes set aside for a rainy day, but they never seem to make it to the kitchen…until last night.
This recipe spoke to me for many reasons…not the least of which was because they are just so darned cute. Oh, and they’re packed full of cheese…that didn’t hurt their cause either…
I picked up the sweetest little set of cookie cutters last week during my trip down to Burlington with my superstar mother. We found my wedding dress at David’s Bridal, and it was our third (and we *hoped* our last…long story) trip to the States for that purpose. After a dirty and delicious breakfast at I-Hop, we moseyed back to the bridal store and popped into Michael’s art supply store, for kicks. I bee-lined to the baking section and it wasn’t long before I saw the $3.99 cookie cutter set that would soon be smuggled (…kidding?) back over the border. Ohhh, yes.
Anyway, I gotta tell you, I’m as pleased as punch to be the proud owner of the Noah’s Ark set of 6 mini cutters, and I could barely wait to put them to use.
So I did.
Oh, and like my stack of 5 chocolate chip I-Hop pancakes, fully-equipped with a dollop of whipped cream, the crackers are totally tasty.
Cheddar & Poppy Seed Crackers
Adapted from Cafe Sucre Farine
1 cup all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2/3 cup whole wheat flour (you could use all all purpose flour, if desired)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ sticks (165 g) butter, at room temperature
6 ounces (165 g) sharp Cheddar cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 large egg, beaten
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, paprika and cayenne into a bowl and add the salt and pepper.
2. Mix the softened butter with the Cheddar until they are well blended – with a mixer or by hand with a sturdy spoon. Add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until a soft dough is formed.
3. Divide dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap then refrigerate for 30 minutes (I left it in the fridge for 2-3 hours. When I was ready to roll it out, let it warm up a bit on the counter first). While you’re waiting on the dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Take out one ball of dough and on a generously floured surface, roll out 1/8-1/4-inch thick.
5. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle dough with 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and roll gently over the plastic wrap to imbed the poppy seeds into to dough.
6. Cut with desired shape small cookie cutters and place on parchment paper-lined (or lightly greased) sheet pans.7. Bake for 12 minutes. The biscuits should be dark golden and smell amazing! Leave to cool completely before serving, or storing in a tightly sealed container.
**These could be made into whatever shape you find most appealing. Circles and/or squares would certainly be more ‘adult’, but the little animals ignite the child-like excitement in me. So, I’m going to purposely, and purposefully, shun societal expectations and stick with these little guys.