Cheddar cheese coins should be cheesy, buttery crackers with just a little spice, but more often they're greasy, bland, and tough. We wanted to come up with a simple, foolproof version. Cheese coins are made from flour, sharp cheddar cheese, butter, and seasonings. We kept our seasonings simple—just salt, cayenne, and paprika. We used the food processor to combine the dry ingredients and the shredded cheese, which helped to keep the coins tender by limiting the handling of the dough. Adding a little cornstarch with the flour further ensured the coins baked up tender. We processed the dry ingredients with chilled butter until the mixture resembled wet sand, then added water and processed until the dough came together. Next, we rolled the dough into logs, refrigerated them until firm, then sliced them into thin coins. We baked the cheesy coins in a moderate oven until they were just lightly golden and perfectly crisp.
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
3 tablespoons water
1. Process cheddar, flour, cornstarch, salt, cayenne, and paprika in food processor until combined, about 30 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over top and process until mixture resembles wet sand, about 20 seconds. Add water and process until dough forms ball, about 10 seconds. Transfer dough to counter and divide in half. Roll each half into 10-inch log, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. (Dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw completely before slicing and baking.)
2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap logs and slice into ¼-inch-thick coins, giving dough quarter turn after each slice to keep log round. Place coins on prepared sheets, spaced 1/2 inch apart.
3. Bake until light golden around edges, 22 to 28 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let coins cool completely on sheets before serving. (Coins can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)
To Make Ahead: Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month; if frozen, thaw completely before slicing and baking. Baked coins can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Copyright 2016 America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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