Cheese Crackers and Straws
Makes 60 or more
1 1/2 cups Jeanne's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (see recipe)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, rosemary or cumin, optional
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, in pieces
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 extra-large egg
1/4 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, combine flour, salt, cayenne and herbs; pulse a few times to mix. Add butter and cheeses and pulse until evenly mixed, about 1 minute. It should look like wet sand with pebbles. Add egg; pulse to incorporate. With motor running, pour in milk; blend until dough forms a ball. (Or mix the dough by hand, using a pastry cutter.) Divide dough into two equal portions.
3. For crackers, roll dough between sheets of wax paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut 2-inch rounds; transfer to baking sheet, spacing at least 1/2 inch apart. Repeat until all the dough is used.
4. For cheese straws, pinch off a marble-sized piece of dough. Roll into a smooth cylinder about 5 1/2-inches long. Place on a prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart.
5. Bake until crackers begin to brown around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
-- Jeanne Sauvage, "Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays" (Chronicle, $24.95, 168 pages)