As luck would have it, I was assigned preschool snack duty on the day of the kids’ Halloween parade. Obviously no ordinary fruit and crackers would do, so I decided it was time to make some homemade cheese crackers. The tot and I headed to the store in search of Halloween cookie cutters, but came home with these adorable woodland animals instead. I used the owls for Halloween, and, as her class is the Penguins, you can bet there will be a batch (or several) of penguins in the near future!
I tweaked a couple recipes to make a simple version, using part all-purpose and part white wheat flour. (White wheat is a lighter whole wheat flour made by King Arthur flour.) I might try all white wheat next time, but for now these turned out light, cheesy and crisp. Lots of homemade cheese cracker recipes call for cayenne pepper, but I skipped that since I was serving them to three-year-olds. A dash of ground mustard powder was enough to boost the cheesy flavor. Try them and see what you think!
Kids Cooking Tip: All the mixing is done in a food processor, so be sure to enlist the little ones to press the button on and off. Older kids can help grate the cheese. And of course, rolling and cutting is always a fun task for little helpers.
Recipe: Homemade Cheddar Cheese Crackers
Makes 3 dozen small crackers
- 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon milk
- optional: sunflower seeds or pepitas
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Place first six ingredients in food processor and pulse a few seconds at a time, until mixture is crumbly.
- Add milk and pulse a few more times until dough begins to stick together.
- Press dough together and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- On a lightly floured cutting board, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 1-inch squares or use a small cookie cutter to cut shapes. Use blunt end of a wooden skewer to poke eyes, or if cutting into squares, poke each in the center. If using seeds, press firmly into the dough.
- Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden. Cool completely on cooling rack, then store in airtight container.