I have met temptation, and it’s this Bacon Garlic Cheddar Crackers recipe. These things are addictive.
This recipe came to me on Monday when my son announced he was more interested in playing with friends than hanging out with his mom over Spring Break. That might sound normal to you, but it was a big step for my son who’s even more introverted than I am. I knew it was a sign of progress that we needed to celebrate, and since I didn’t need to squeeze my day between the morning and afternoon school runs, I had spare time on my hands. For me that means it’s time to tinker in the kitchen, and that’s exactly what I did.
I’ve made crackers plenty of times before. My Homemade Wheat Thins remain a family favorite, and I have a few other cracker recipes I’ve yet to share with you here. But on Monday, I was craving bacon. Also, cheese. Thus these things were born.
Here’s something surprising about making these crackers: if you have a food processor, rolling pin, and parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, you’ve got all the equipment you need to make them yourself. Okay, you need an oven, too, but surely you have one of those.
Bacon Garlic Cheddar Crackers Recipe
In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and cayenne. Next, add butter cubes to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Sorry about the bad photos but my good camera was stolen so I had to use my phone.)
Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese and bacon until well-combined. Next, stir in buttermilk just until the dough forms a soft ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer so the butter firms up again, around 15 minutes.
Transfer a quarter of the dough onto a piece of parchment paper cut to fit your baking sheet (or onto a baking mat) and cover it with wax paper. Roll the dough out until it’s very thin, around 1/4 inch, but don’t let it tear.
Very carefully peel back the wax paper. Trim the edges so they’re neat, then use a pizza cutter or butter knife to score the dough into cracker-sized squares. Slide the mat or parchment paper onto a baking sheet and bake the crackers at 400°F for 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. They’re done when the edges begin to turn golden brown.
It’s important to give them a 2-minute rest out of the oven before lifting the crackers off the baking sheet and placing them on a wire rack to cool. That resting time lets the dough firm back up and begin to crisp, a process that’s completed on the rack as they cool off.
While the first batch cools, proceed with the remainder of the dough. They’re ready to eat once they’re cool!
Serves: 6 dozen
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (substitute up to 1 cup whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon seasoning salt (see my recipe)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup butter, cubed and well-chilled
- 2 cups finely-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup crumbled, cooked bacon (about 8-10 strips)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Kosher salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and cayenne.
- Add butter cubes to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Transfer to a large bowl and stir in crumbled bacon and shredded cheese. Combine well.
- Stir in buttermilk until dough forms a soft, cohesive ball.
- Place dough in freezer to firm up butter, around 15 minutes.
- Measure a piece of parchment paper to fit your cookie sheet, or get out your silicone baking mat.
- Remove ¼ of the dough from the freezer and put it on the parchment paper or baking mat.
- Cover that piece of dough with wax paper or another baking mat and roll out until it's ⅛ inch thickness. (You want to go for almost translucent, but not quite. They'll puff up in the oven.)
- Remove the wax paper from the top of the rolled-out dough.
- Using a pizza cutter or knife, trim the edges of the dough and put scraps back in the freezer with the rest. Then, score the rolled-out dough into 1"x1" squares.
- Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet every 6 minutes. Remove from oven when the edges begin to turn golden brown.
- Let sit 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool.
- Allow cookie sheet to cool, then repeat with remaining dough until it's all used.
- Will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Does not freeze well.
If you’d rather use a dehydrator than an oven, spread the dough thinly on your drying racks and lightly score it into cracker-sized pieces with a table knife. Set your machine to 200°F. Check after the first hour, then every half hour until they’re crisp.
Now, don’t let those instructions frighten you, this recipe is much easier than you’d think. But with all of that butter, cheese and buttermilk in there, the dough goes soft very quickly. You don’t want that so be sure to pop it into the freezer as often as needed to keep the butter in tiny little chunks. In the oven, these chunks will melt and leave behind air pockets that give crackers their crispness.
Obviously, this Bacon Cheddar Garlic Cracker recipe isn’t low-calorie, but you probably got that from the list of ingredients. They’re wonderful little nibbles for cocktail hour, though!
Equipment To Make These: