Thursday, November 15, 2012

Friday Night Bites | Jalapeno Cheddar Crackers

I pre-ordered the new Barefoot Contessa Cookbook – Foolproof and it finally arrived last week at my office.  I could hardly wait to browse through all of the recipes to see what I would make first.  After looking through, the Jalapeno Cheddar Crackers just leaped off the page and those would be the first recipe.

I have to say that I am not a jealous person, but today I was.  I was browsing facebook today and saw a few of my co-workers who went to Palo Alto to attend Ina Garten’s in person book signing.  How cool that they got to meet Ina!  If you asked me which celebrity chef I would love to meet and hang out with, it would have to be Ina.  I have all 7 of her books and this new one makes eight.  Ina has a knack for making simple recipes that always come out perfect and taste fantastic.  It is only appropriate that her latest book is titled – “Foolproof”. 

I read the recipe over a couple times and decided to double the jalapeno and substitute the chipotle chili powder for the traditional version.  I found some extra sharp white cheddar cheese from Trader Joe’s that was simply perfect.  I just had to indulge in a slice or two of cheddar while making the dough. 

These crackers are simple, jam packed with flavor and perfect for the Friday Night Bite series.  You can make the dough ahead of time, then simply slice and bake.  You can kick these up a notch by serving a bit of chili jam along side.  A great wine pairing for these crackers is a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.  One of my all time favorites is from KimCrawford from Marlborough, New Zealand.  It is a high-spirited wine that is overflowing with flavors of pineapple and stone fruit with a hint of herbaceousness.  On the nose is a spray of citrus and tropical fruits along with a slight grassy undertone.  It is bright, fun and consistently a perfect Sauvignon Blanc in my book.

Jalapeno Cheddar Crackers

Makes 32 to 34 crackers

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
14 tablespoons cold butter, diced
5 ounces extra sharp white cheddar, grated
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
Fleur de sel or sea salt

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the cheddar, jalapeno, and chili powder and pulse again.  With the food processor running, add the ice water all at once.  Continue to pulsing until the mixture begins to form a ball.  Dump the dough onto a floured board and roll it into a 14-inch log.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerator for at least one hour.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven 400 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Cut the dough in 3/8-inch thick slices.  Place the crackers on the prepared sheet pan, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle with the fleur de sel.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.


  1. Mmm, I love it when the crackers provide something tasty too!

  2. Had to come right over as soon as you shared these on FB--wow! These crackers look awesome, Lisa. What a perfect item to be in your Friday Night Bites series. I will have to give these a try soon. :)

  3. These look wonderful! I just happen to have a bunch of jalapeños in my fridge! Love your blog, very pretty!

  4. These crackers look so tasty (and addictive!). I would Love to meet Ina too!

  5. I love Barefoot Contessa! These crackers are so perfect for Friday Night Bites - I need to pick up a copy of her new book!

  6. They look and sound fabulous! Pinning them!

    And I love Ina - I am actually writing a blurb about her on my blog tomorrow. I'd LOVE to have met her, too at a book signing!

  7. Love that you doubled the jalapenos in this recipe. Nothing like a spicy treat to kick off the weekend. Can these be the "cookies" you bring to the cookie swap? :)

  8. Lisa, those looks so good. And it's great to have "fool proof" recipes and rolls of cracker dough to have on hand. Yum!
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm sure you have something delicious planned!

  9. I'm pinning this to use for a Christmas party. Looks so yummy.

  10. It would be cool to meet Ina, I would be jealous too. These crackers look great - love the flavors. Great addition to an appetizer table.

  11. More jalapeno...nice :) They look wonderful!

  12. Very pretty with the jalapeños!
    I just picked up Ina's latest cookbook and really look forward to going through it but Lisa, it looks like you picked out a real winner of a recipe perfect for the holidays with this one;-)

  13. Lisa, these little hot crackers look so good. I too like Ina, she seems so down to earth and has such yummy recipes, good call on these crackers too.

  14. I love and have all of the Barefoot books too! These crackers were next on my list. They look so delicious. Glad to have read your review of them, I made the Winter Minestrone from the same book and it was so flavorful and delicious. I need to pick up some jalapeno this weekend and some Sauvingon Blanc. I appreciate the wine pairing too!!

  15. I just picked up her book too and immediately flagged this recipe to make. I could totally go for this Friday Night Bite right about now. ;)

  16. I love Ina and all the recipes I have tried from her cookbooks are delicious!
    These crackers sounds great, I'm saving the recipe since I haven't (yet) got her latest book.
    Thanks for sharing Lisa

  17. Yummmm...I was just thinking of making some savory crackers. I think this is a good start! Cheddar and jalapeno...mmmm, very good combination!

  18. Love these crackers; the cheddar and jalapeño combo is one of my favourites! Homemade crackers are so unexpected for any party, and I think these will definitely make it to my Christmas appetizer menu!

  19. I totally need to make these crackers now! Thanks for sharing. :)

  20. Barefoot Contessa is fabulous. I need to make savory crackers more often. Your recipe has inspired me. Love the spicy kick!

  21. Hi, how long do they keep and how do you store them? I need to make some crackers in advance and need to know if I could keep them for 5 days.

    Thank you for the recipe, I have it now in the fridge to cool.

    1. Honestly I kept them in a air tight container for about 2 to 3 days. Just a thought - you could make the dough days in advance and then cook them the night before and store them in an airtight container. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!


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