Make Ahead

Spicy Cheese + Smoked Paprika Coins

November  9, 2016
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

We make these tiny, round cheese crackers for any kind of gathering where you’ll need an easy finger food for picking up and snacking. (They also happen to be a very nice size for packaging up in a glass jar and gifting around the holidays or as a hostess present.) More interesting than the usual platter of crackers and cheese, these buttery coins taste intensely of cheddar cheese. A little bit of cornmeal gives them a pleasantly crunchy texture, and a generous heap of flavorful herbs and spices. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

  • Makes about 30 coins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage leaf
  • 2 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, cayenne, paprika, and sage. Process until the mixture is in coarse crumbs.
  2. Add the cheese and pulse until well-combined.
  3. Add the butter and pulse until well-combined. (Don’t overmix here.) With the food processor running, slowly add the milk in a stream and continue to process until the dough comes together in a ball.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a disc. Wrap the disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours (or up to 3 days).
  5. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Working with half of the chilled dough at a time (leave the other half in the refrigerator until ready to use), roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/16-inch thickness. Using a small round cutter (I like a 1-inch wide cutter), punch out small circles of dough.
  6. Transfer circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes (start keeping a very close eye on them after 10 minutes), or until the crackers are golden brown on the edges. They will crisp up as they cool.
  7. Remove from the oven and let sit on the pan for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Review
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.