Golden Cheddar Cheese Crisps

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Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

These lacy little crisps are just what you need for an easy and stress-free holiday party.

Serve them as an appetizer with a glass of wine or at the table alongside a bowl of soup. Or just snack on them all by themselves.

Be warned, however: It’s impossible to eat just one.

These cheese crisps couldn’t be easier to make. Just grate some cheese, add a little flour and spice, and stir in a spoonful of crunchy seeds.

You can drop them on a baking sheet with a tablespoon, but a 2-inch round cookie cutter helps keep the unwieldy little shreds of cheese from scattering. Use the cutter like a mold and drop spoonfuls inside.

Golden Cheddar Cheese CrispsDon’t forget to line the pans with parchment, or you’ll never get the crisps off the baking sheet in one piece. Also be sure to leave a little space between each crisp. When the cheese melts in the oven, the mounds spread and flatten on the pan.

Out of the oven, they will crisp as they cool on the pan. You’ll be able to lift and peel them easily off the parchment.

I like to add a hefty pinch of spicy cayenne to these, but use your own discretion. You can vary the type of seed you use, too. I often just grab what I have in the cupboard.

Golden Cheddar Cheese Crisps Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 dozen crisps

If you'd like, you can substitute another semi-hard cheese for the cheddar, like Swiss or Gruyere.

The crisps are best the day they are made. If they've gone a little soft, just pop them back in the oven for a few minutes to warm them up before serving. They will re-crisp as they cool.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar (about 2 cups grated)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame, poppy, coriander, or cumin seed

Method

1 Heat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using the large holes of a grater, grate the cheese.

2 Make the crisp mix: In a bowl, combine the flour, paprika, baking powder, and cayenne. Add the butter, and mix with a fork or your fingers until blended in. Stir in the seeds. Add the grated cheese and toss with your hands to combine.

Golden Cheddar Cheese Crisps

3 Form and bake the crisps: Mound tablespoon-size portions of the cheese mixture on the baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Flatten them slightly with the back of the spoon.

It's not absolutely necessary, but you can also use a 2-inch round cookie cutter as a mold to keep the cheese tidy if you like. Place the cutter on the baking sheet and drop a spoonful of cheese mix into it. Lift the cutter, level the cheese, and repeat until you have made all the crisps.

Golden Cheddar Cheese Crisps

4 Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Let the crisps cool completely on the baking sheets. Lift the edge of the parchment to lift the crisps off the baking sheet, then peel them off. Store in an airtight container.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of two cookbooks (Food for Friends and The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

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Golden Cheddar Cheese Crisps

Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • Julie

    If mine are not crisping up should I bake them longer?

  • Michael Stone

    I’ve spiced them up a bit by adding mustard powder.

  • Ann Cromwell

    This post reminded me that I must provide something for a holiday bake sale. I see that these crisps are best the day they are made so I’ll pass on this recipe. Do you have a suggestion for a savory bake sale item that appeals to blander Midwestern tastes?

  • Linda L Kolbek

    I would like to make your cheddar crisps, but I am gluten sensitive. What else can I use in place of flour?

  • Al

    Ooh! I’ve got some everything bagel “seasoning” from an earlier gougères experiment — so putting that in!!!

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