Today’s Five Ingredient Friday is a seasonal remake of a traditional Southern favourite, the Cheddar Cheese Straw. Using Cheddar cheese and pumpkin seeds (instead of the more traditional pecan), the plain ol’ cheese “straw” is transformed into a Autumnal cracker in the shape of a pumpkin, perfect for Halloween and Fall entertaining.
It seems like most of the Halloween treats I see are sweet; while that’s great, since Halloween seems to be all about the candy, I crave salty far more. Living in The South, where Cheddar Cheese Straws are a “must have” for any holiday entertaining, I couldn’t resist transforming this simple recipe into something that would bring some salty fun to Halloween and beyond.
The great thing about the pumpkin shape is that this snack will work all the way past Halloween and be a great addition to pre-feast snacking at Thanksgiving, too!
With a mixer or a food processor, this simple five ingredient recipe is ready in a snap! The five ingredients are:
- Cheddar Cheese
- Cayenne pepper
- Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Another great thing about this transformation is you don’t have to be “perfect” about forming your pumpkins. Every pumpkin in the pumpkin patch is unique, so it’s fine for all of your crackers to have their own little personality!
I rolled the dough into logs, just like in this recipe for Cheddar Roquefort Rosemary Snaps. I eliminated the refrigeration time from the snaps above, since they were easier to form when soft. I made the dough, formed it into a log and sliced them; then I just squished them into a pumpkin shape and flattened them with my fingers. Using a toothpick, I scored ridges into the dough to resemble the ridges on a pumpkin. I reserved one slice of the dough to form little stems and pressed them into the pumpkin shaped crackers. After 15-17 minutes in the oven, you’ve got the cutest, cheesiest, zesty pumpkin crackers. This recipe made 24 crackers.
I hope you’ll try them for your Fall festivities!
- 1 stick salted butter (8 tablespoons)
- 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped toasted pumpkin seeds (of course, you could use pecans or whatever nut you like)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor (or with an electric mixer), cream the butter and cheese.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture forms a ball.
- Remove the mixture from the processor, divide into half.
- Roll each half into a log, about 2½ inches in diameter.
- Cut slices about ¼ inch thick and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Using your hands, press the round of dough to shape it with an indent in the top for where the stem will be and flat-ish on the bottom.
- Using the dough from one slice, pull off small sections to form stems and press them into the top of the pumpkin shape.
- Using a toothpick, press curved grooves into the dough to mimic the ridges of a pumpkin.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.