ON COOKING IN LANGLEY: Tips for making your own crackers

With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, Chef Dez offers an alternative food for evening’s festivities

With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, many people are looking for unique foods to serve at their midnight soiree.

One of the recipes we always turn to for our cheese and cracker platter is my wife’s cheddar sesame crackers.

These are very simple to prepare, very flavourful, made with whole wheat, and a single recipe will produce four to five dozen crackers.

People at your party will be addicted to these and being that most will get crackers from a box, they will be amazed that you made them from scratch.

Happy New Year to you.

I wish you all the best of health, happiness, and prosperity in 2020.

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Cheddar Sesame Crackers

Recipe created by Katherine Desormeaux (Mrs. Chef Dez)

“Using strong cheddar will give these crackers the best cheese flavour”

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups grated old cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)

1/2 cup butter, frozen

1/2 cup water

Extra whole wheat flour for rolling

1/2 cup sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the flour, cheddar, sugar, salt, paprika, cayenne together in a bowl. Using a standard cheese grater, grate the frozen butter into this dry mixture and toss to mix.

Add the water and mix until just combined to form a dough – it will seem dry when you first start mixing it, but just be patient as it will come together as a smooth dough.

Cut the dough into four equal parts.

Flatten out one portion of dough in your hands and sprinkle a moderate amount of flour on the counter and a small amount of flour on top of the portion of the dough.

Start rolling out the dough while ensuring the underside stays well floured.

When the top of the dough starts to stick to the rolling pin sprinkle it with a generous amount of sesame seeds and roll the seeds onto the dough until it is approximately 1/8th of an inch thick.

Note: if you use too much flour on the top of the dough, the sesame seeds will not stick; the seeds will help to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.

Cut the rolled dough into desired shapes and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 5 to 6 minutes or until they have just turned brown.

Because of the cheddar cheese and sesame seeds they must be watched closely to ensure they don’t burn.

Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack.

Repeat with the other 3 portions of dough.

When completely cooled, store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Makes approximately 4 to 5 dozen depending on how small you cut the shapes.

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RECENT RECIPE: Banana bread with a bit of pizzazz

MORE: Embrace the experience, from beginning to end

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– Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4

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