Yeah, not such a great picture, okay. I challenge you to take a good picture of crackers. Lining them up on their edges might be visually interesting, sure, but I don’t have that much time on my hands.
I’ve previously mentioned my particular tastes as a child – no butter is one, no bland cheese another. I only liked very sharp cheeses. I was particular when it came to cheese snacks, too – I would eat regular Chee-tos, but not cheese curls or cheese puffs. They tasted different.
I still like sharp cheeses best.
Now, it’s not unusual for kids to be hypersensitive to tastes and textures like this – I had one cousin who, growing up, would eat only one kind – and I mean only one flavor of only one brand – of salad dressing. My aunt brought it with them when they traveled on at least a couple occasions.
Chee-tos were a particular favorite of mine, and I often look longingly at the 365 Cheese Curls (Seven servings? Ha!) when I walk by them, though I very seldom purchase them. It’s been a couple years. They taste like I remember Chee-tos tasting when I was small, something I can’t say for Cheez-Its, which I last had while working for Big Midwestern Cereal Company a few years ago. They tasted bland and uninteresting compared to how I remembered them as a kid. Maybe the formula had changed; maybe I had. I don’t know how I’d like regular Chee-tos now; the ingredients list seems to have expanded significantly from my memory, and I don’t really want to get involved with MSG and artificial color.
There’s no need to, though, if you’re feeling cheesy (sorry). About ten years ago, I found out about Che-Cri, rich, delicate puff pastry crackers from Holland that are made mostly of Gouda cheese and butter, with just enough flour to hold them together. I don’t currently have a source for them, which is probably for the better.
However, I do have a recipe for cheese pennies, which are the next best thing to Che-Cri, as you can make them at home. Though they’re not puff pastry, the ratio of cheese and butter to flour seems about the same as Che-Cri.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
1 stick butter
1/2 lb. sharp cheese
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
sesame seeds (optional)
Place all ingredients except sesame seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Process, pulsing, until the mixture comes together. Remove from bowl and form into logs of 1 in. diameter. Roll in sesame seeds. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut 1/4 in. pennies and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Little space is needed if the logs are properly chilled – they will not spread far. Bake until lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes, watching carefully.