Stacey Ballis

Here is the approximate way my thinking went when I was dreaming up these crackers:

I have delicious pimiento cheese. I should eat that.

It will be best upon a cracker.

What type of cracker would be the superior vehicle for the cheese?

Sweet Fancy Moses, what if the cheese WERE THE CRACKER?????

(Duuuuuuude.)

After all, in my forays into cracker-making I had discovered that many crackers are just fat and flour and seasonings. And I had made cheese crackers which were just fat and flour and seasonings and cheese. Well, pimiento cheese is cheese and fat and seasonings, so what would happen if I just added flour and baked it?

Magic, people, this is what happens, pure alchemical wizardry.

How to Make It

Step 1

Leave your pimiento cheese spread at room temp for about 30-60 minutes, so that it is soft and room temperature. Put it in your stand mixer or a bowl. Add ¾ of the flour. Mix with the paddle attachment or an electric mixer (or your clean hands) until a cohesive dough forms, adding more flour as needed. You want a dough the consistency of shortbread cookie dough, you should be able to form it into a log easily, without it sagging or crumbling. If your dough is too crumbly, add a teaspoon of mayonnaise at a time until it comes together. If it is too soft, add flour one tablespoon at a time. This is all about feel!

Step 2

Roll the dough into logs the thickness you would like the crackers. If you want little snacky ones, about an inch thick, wider ones up to two inches. Roll the log(s) into plastic wrap and stash in the fridge for a minimum of an hour or up to three days.

Step 3

To bake: Preheat oven to 400 and put the rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. If you are using a garnish, spread a layer in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Roll the chilled logs firmly in the garnish so that it sticks, and to get the log as round as possible. Slice about 1/8-1/4 inch thick depending on how thick you like your crackers. Arrange about one inch apart on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly golden on the edges and the bottoms have browned, pick one up and check, if the bottom is nicely golden brown they are done. Keep an eye on them the last 3 minutes or so just to check for burning.

Step 4

Let cool completely on a rack on the pan, then eat or store in an airtight container at room temp for up to a week or in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to three months. If once thawed out of the freezer they feel soft, you can re-crisp on a parchment lined sheet pan at 350 for about 5-8 minutes.

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