Homemade Cheese Crackers
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
- ½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cheddar, butter, and salt until soft and combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed (the dough will be dry and pebbly). Slowly add the water and continue to mix as the dough forms a ball.
- Pat the dough into a disk, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
- Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each into a very thin (1/8 inch or less) 10 x 12-inch rectangle. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut the rectangles into 1-inch squares, then transfer to the baking sheets. Use the tip of a chopstick to punch a hole into the center of each square.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until puffed and browning at the edges. Watch carefully, as the high fat content of the crackers makes it a fine line between golden delicious and burnt. Immediately move the crackers to racks to cool.
Homemade Granola Bars
- 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
- Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.