Monday, November 22, 2010

Croustillants (Cheese Crackers)

Serves 6

2 cups (250 g) shredded Comte or Gruyere cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup (155 g) all-purpose flour
pinch of cayenne pepper
2-3 tbs chopped chives
coarse sea salt

In a food processor, combine cheeses, butter, flour, and cayenne pepper. Process until well combined and crumbly (40-60 seconds).

Transfer mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 2 inches in diameter and 6-7 inches long. Roll the log in the plastic wrap , patting it while you work, so that it forms a smooth, even shape. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or for up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the dough and slice into rounds about ¼ inch thick. Arrange on 2 ungreased baking sheets, preferably nonstick, spacing the rounds about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle evenly with chives and then with a little salt.

Bake the crackers, 1 sheet at a time, until they are a light golden brown – 10-15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. For crispier crackers, bake for up to 3 minutes longer, but do not let the edges brown or the crackers will taste bitter.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately with a light, spicy red wine or with a kir (crème de cassis with dry white wine in a champagne glass; you can also make a kir royal by replacing the white wine with champagne).

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