Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gruyere and Cayenne Crackers | Friday Night Bites

My addiction with homemade crackers continues. As a kid, and still today, I love the traditional “cheez-its” cracker. That perfect square shape with ruffled edges and the tiny dot imprint in the center has a certain appeal.  Perhaps, it is since they are incredibly easy to eat and snack on. Since the cheddar variety is the most traditional flavor, I thought I would mix it up and put my own spin on this iconic cracker. After much internal debate, I came up with Gruyere cheese and cayenne - a little spice along with the rich nutty cheese flavor; simply perfect for our Friday night bites.

It doesn't feel much like winter here in the bay area. We did experience a fairly vigorous rainstorm on Tuesday night which awakened me during the middle of the night. The weather man is predicting that we will have sunshine and warm weather over the weekend. I wish winter would happen here in the bay area since we definitely need the rain. I was certainly hoping the rain would continue through the weekend especially for our traditional Friday night bite celebration.  A cozy fire along with the sound of rain hitting the windows sets the tone for a perfect winter Friday night.

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We are preparing for a system conversion in a few months at work.  This is going to be a fairly dramatic change for numerous folks at my company however it will provide most robust functionality, productivity, reporting and a better user interface and experience.  With the impending positive change, we are preparing our outside sales folks with tools to make their jobs streamlined.  One such tool, well smart phone app is “Dictation Dragon”.  Now my sales folks can be out in the field and simply record the results and next steps of each sales call, email it to themselves and input into our CRM.

It got me thinking, how can I streamline and use my time wiser when I am blogging.  I actually used this app to write this post.  It was so cool.  I am sure that all of you can find numerous uses for saving you time.

Would love to hear from all of you what imaginative flavored crackers you might want to see for future Friday Night Bites posts. Look forward to hearing all of your creative ideas. 

Gruyere and Cayenne Crackers

1 ½ Cups (6 oz) Gruyere Cheese
4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into 6 pieces
¾ Cup Flour, plus additional for dusting
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, depending on how spicy you like it
2 Tablespoons Half and Half

In a food processor, combine the butter, gruyere and pulse until combined.  Next add the cayenne, salt and flour and pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a large board and lay plastic wrap on top, lightly flour the dough and  roll the dough into a 13 by 8-inch rectangle that is 1/16th inch thick.  With a pastry wheel, trim off the sides into a 12 by 7 inch rectangle.  Cut the dough into 1 by 1 inch squares using a ravioli cutter to achieve the ruffled edges.  Use the blunt end of a skewer to make a hole in each cracker.  Transfer the crackers to a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt if desired.

Bake the crackers on the middle rack for 10 to 11 minutes, or until they are barely browned.  Remove and let entire baking sheet rest on a wire rack to cool. 

Serve at room temperature and store in an airtight container.


  1. I'll check out that app!

    Okay, between your crackers and mine, think we could go into business? :) Love the gruyere and cayenne here. Another inspired cracker creation, Lisa. :)

  2. Cheese crackers are the most addicting food out there for me. Period. Nothing, *nothing* is worse for me than cheese crackers when it comes to portion control! I eat 'em all. Can't stop.

    And now you've gone and added some fancy cheese and spice. It's too much for me! I'm getting out of here while I still can. ;)

  3. looks delish! I'd love to see a basil tomato cracker.

  4. I LOVE Cheez Its, so I definitely want to give these a try. I've never made my own crackers before, thanks for the inspiration! :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  5. These sounds quite addictive and delicious!

  6. These crackers look dangerously delicious...I think I'd eat all of them in one sitting! :)

  7. Woohoo! Is it Friday yet? These will be perfect for munching in front of the tv. I know, not exactly the healthiest of activities, but once in a while is OK, right? I'm only human - and I like to enjoy these moments. Bet the cayenne really kicks the Gruyere crackers up a notch! Love spice!

  8. Time for my Friday night bites...and my oh my do these look addictive!!!

  9. These look dangerously addictive, Lisa! Crackers with cheese. I'm hooked!
    - Lisa

  10. These crackers look fantastic - Gruyere is one of my favourite cheeses!

  11. I want to come to your house on Friday night. You always have the best appetizers, and I know there has to be good wine!

  12. I would love a handful of your crackers Lisa-love the flavors!
    Have a wonderful weekend ;-)

  13. I'm so impressed these crackers look so perfect just like the cheese-it cracker! The recipe seems so simple, I've really got to try making some.

  14. Love Gruyer! Will make these crackers this weekend!!

  15. Can you do a french toast cracker??

    Love your blog!

    Please follow back if you can :)

    Chelsea M.

  16. By golly, they're perfect! I've never made homemade crackers and was always a huge fan of cheez its! Your gruyere and cayenne combo sounds like the perfect grown-up treat!

  17. Looks super delicious. thanks for sharing :)

  18. What temperture did you cook them at? Thanks

  19. I've made these several times now. In addition to making the original ones above, I've substituted blue cheese for the gruyere (which turned out ok but not great) and I've also made a paleo/primal version by substituting the regular flour with a combination of coconut and almond flour.
    Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and so happy you liked them. I appreciate your feedback on the variations you tried. Happy Sunday!


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