Want an easy, make ahead hors d’oeuvres for a cocktail party? These Pecan Cheddar crackers are absolutely addictive. They’re buttery, crunchy and zippy. Like a grown-up Cheez It. Trust me, you want this!
It should be no surprise that these pecan cheddar crackers are absolutely addictive. Seriously. I may need the cracker version of AA to get beyond this.
It was Scott’s birthday and I was planning a family get together (about 17 people) to celebrate. I wanted some hors d’oeuvres that I could make ahead of time to set out for my guests to nibble while I was readying the rest of the meal. There was already a vegetable platter and I needed an indulgent “yin” to that healthy “yan.”
I found my muse on epicurious. These sinful crackers had a full pound of sharp cheddar cheese and a half pound of butter. Gulp! Did I mention that there were 17 people?
And this makes a lot of crackers. So much so, that I ended up freezing a log of dough for another occasion.
Their recipe called for mustard. A lot of mustard. In several forms. Dijon. Dried — even mustard seed for a snappy little crunch.
Being from the South, I added some of my own regional favorites. Crunchy pecans and a hit of cayenne pepper. Oh-ma-gawd!
You’ll like this because virtually this entire recipe is made in the food processor – bonus!
After the dough has come together, mix in the pecans and then divide the dough into 2, 3 or even 4 portions – depending on how much you need at a time.
Roll them into logs, wrap them in parchment or wax paper and chill. At this point, you can freeze the dough too. Then just pull them out of hibernation when you’re ready to bake.
Slice them into 1/8″ rounds using a very thin, sharp knife. Bake until lightly golden brown. My guests loved these crackers. They have a sharp, tangy, cheesy bite with a hint of heat and fun little pops from the mustard seed.
My cousin Katrina abstains from anything mustard and she proclaimed them “addictive“. Her step-daughter, Bella, thought they tasted like Cheez-Its. Coming from a 13-year old, I think that’s a good thing.
More make ahead appetizers:
- Smoked Fish Dip
- Pork Rillettes
- Creamy Chicken Livers
- Veal and Pork Country Pate
- Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
- Duck Rillettes
Pecan Cheddar Crackers
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 7 cup or greater food processor
- Blend together the butter, cheese and egg yolk in the food processor until smooth.
- Combine the dijon, dry mustard and mustard seeds in a small bowl and stir. Add to the butter mixture.
- Combine the salt, cayenne and flour in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Put the lid on the food processor and pulse until a soft dough forms. Add the pecans and pulse 2-3 more times until combined. Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into equal portions (2, 3, or 4). Shape and roll the dough into 10″ logs. Roll the dough in wax or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firm before continuing. (Note: if you’re not going to make all the crackers at once, you can freeze the logs well wrapped in parchment and foil or freezer bags for later use.)
- Position oven racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Unwrap logs and cut with a very sharp knife into 1/8″ thick rounds. Arrange 1″ apart on the baking sheet. Bake in batches, switching positions of the pans halfway through the baking process. Cook a total of 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Transfer crackers to racks to cool.
- Store crackers in an airtight container for up to a week.