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A few years ago, homemade crackers were featured in every magazine, and every time you had drinks at a friend's house, there they were, gussied up with hot pepper and sharp cheese. Still, there is nothing like them! Make them ahead of time and store the dough in the freezer. When you need them, slice what you need and bake. Or bake them and store them in an airtight container for up to a week.
Makes about 4 to 5 dozen crackers
Wine Suggestion: White Rioja
6 tablespoons unsalted butter1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, about 4 ounces1 tablespoon dry mustard1/4 teaspoon cayenneSalt1 cup all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder1 egg, whisked4 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and finely ground
Place the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cook until the butter melts, the tiny solids on the bottom turn brown and begins to smoke slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat.
Place the butter, cheese, mustard, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, flour and baking powder in the bowl of the food processor. Process until well mixed, 1 to 2 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic and chill in the refrigerator 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces and form each piece into a 1-inch cylinder. Wrap tightly in plastic and roll to smooth the edges. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 350°F
For the glaze, whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon water.
Remove the plastic and cut into 1/4-inch discs. Sprinkle a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons water. Place the crackers on an ungreased baking sheet 1-inch apart. Brush with the glaze and sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Bake until golden, 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool. Serve hot or room temperature.
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