Cheese Snacks

For our December 2008 group dinner I was searching for something difference and came across these. They were a hit.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 7 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks (about 14 tablespoons)
  • 3-1/2 oz. finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 oz, about 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with a pinch of paprika and 1/2 tsp. water, as a glaze
  • Kosher or sea salt for sprinkling

Put the flour, salt, cayenne, and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse again until the butter is in small pieces and then a few more pulses.

Add the cheeses, pulse, and finally, add the egg and pulse until the mixture just starts to come together.

Dump the dough on an unfloured surface. Sprinkle the ground nuts the dough. Knead and then shape the dough into a log.

Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for an hour.

Remove from the fridge, Slice into thin slices.

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange 1-inch apart on two ungreased baking sheets. Brush with the glaze and sprinkle lightly with kosher or sea salt.

Bake until golden brown and thoroughly cooked inside, about 14 minutes, rotating the sheets from front to back and top to bottom about halfway through. To test, break one in half and look to see if the center still looks doughy. If so, cook for a few more minutes, but be careful not to overbake.

Let cool on a rack and store only when completely cool.