Cookbook Profile

Party Cheese Crackers

Source: Cook & Tell by Karyl Bannister
Cook: Karyl Bannister

Makes 6-1/2 dozen crackers


You can't stop eating these crackers, we promise. They're cheesy, buttery, and delicious, with little bits of pistachio making them very pretty as well. Blue cheese and chili powder are used judiciously to elevate the flavors and add depth. They're also a cinch to make, fortunately, since once you make them everyone will be begging you to bring them to the next party. They're icebox crackers, made just like icebox cookies. If there are any leftovers after the party, they go very well with soup or salad.

1-1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces), at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces), at room temperature
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup chopped salted pistachios
2 cups all-purpose flour

In a medium bowl using a wooden spoon, cream the Cheddar, butter, blue cheese, and chili powder. Stir in the pistachios. Sift the flour into the cheese mixture and work it in with the spoon until well blended. Form the dough into three 9-inch-long logs. Wrap the logs in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours, or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the logs into 3/8-inch-thick rounds. Place the rounds 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until barely browned on the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store the crackers in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Cook's Notes
* If you can only find shell-on salted pistachios, discard any loose bits of papery skin as you shell the nuts.
* You can use a pinch of cayenne pepper in place of the chili powder for similar effect.
* If the ingredients are not truly at room temperature, blending the dough is a real chore. Once the cheeses and butter have softened, however, it's a breeze.

We all know that it's not easy to shape dough into perfectly cylindrical logs, so we were happy to find this tip for shaping perfect icebox cookies on Use scissors to cut down the length of a cardboard tube (such as a paper-towel tube). Line the inside of the tube with waxed paper. Pack the dough into the tube, close it, wrap a rubber band around each end, and refrigerate. After the dough is chilled, unwrap and you're all set to slice and bake.


Buy the Book!


The Best American Recipes 2002-2003
by Fran McCullough (Editor); Molly Stevens (Editor)
Houghton Mifflin Books
ISBN: 0618191372
$26.00, Hardcover, 360 pages
Recipe reprinted by permission.


The Best American Recipes 2002-2003



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This page created December 2002