Bacon Garlic Cheddar Crackers are one of those appetizers that get such rave responses when served that you quickly learn to have copies of the recipe handy because you will be asked for it.
The other thing you’ll hear, besides a request for a recipe, is “I’ve never met anyone before who makes their own crackers.” You might not understand what they’re saying at first because they’ll say this with a mouth full of crackers, but you’ll get used to it.
And then, my friends, you will be asked to bring your “famous” Bacon Garlic Cheddar Crackers to every family get-together, potluck, or party.
I love homemade crackers, partly because I get to control the ingredients and partly because putting in the effort to make them (rather than merely opening a box) reminds me not to gobble the entire batch in one sitting. My Homemade Wheat Thins remain a family favorite, and I have a few other cracker recipes I’ve yet to share with you here.
This recipe was born because I was craving bacon and crackers, but didn’t feel like going to the store. What? Making crackers from scratch is easier than going to pick up a box at the supermarket? Well, no, not for most people — but I’m a hardcore introvert and would rather spend 30 minutes in my kitchen making something from scratch than 20 minutes dealing with people. Besides, these taste amazing!
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 this recipe, the key to getting crunchy, flaky crackers is keeping your ingredients cold. To start, cube the butter then pop it into the freezer while you cook the bacon. Personally, I cook bacon in the oven but you could pan-fry or even microwave it.
Once the bacon is crisp, roll it between paper towels to remove as much grease as possible, then chop it well. Transfer this to the fridge while you work.
Go with good, sharp cheddar for this recipe so you can really taste the cheese. With the addition of bacon and garlic, mild cheddar will be overwhelmed. I shred mine in the food processor before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
Once you’ve shredded the cheese in the food processor, measure out what you need and store the rest. Don’t bother wiping the food processor bowl — just add your flour, seasoned salt (here’s my homemade version), garlic powder, and baking powder to the bowl. Pulse that a few times to combine then add the butter and pulse repeatedly (about 20 times) until it resembles a coarse meal.
Tip that mixture into a bowl and stir in the bacon and shredded cheese. Next, pour in the buttermilk and mix until it forms a soft dough. Work quickly, though: you don’t want those bits of butter to start melting!
Grab 1/4 of the dough from the bowl and plop it onto a silicone baking mat or piece of parchment paper. Put the bowl in the fridge to stay cool. Lay a sheet of parchment over the dough and roll it out, working in every direction, until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Carefully peel back the top sheet of parchment and use a butter knife to cut the dough into 1″ square crackers. Don’t bother separating them — it’s not necessary.
Bake them at 400°F / 200°C / gas mark 6 until the edges begin to turn golden brown. You may need to remove a few on the outer edges if they start to look done before the rest. Otherwise, remove them from the oven once they’re done and let them cool on the pan for a couple of minutes.
After 2 minutes, during which the crackers start to crisp up, transfer them to a wire rack and let the baking sheet cool. Start rolling out the next hunk of dough and repeat the above steps until you’ve used all of the dough.
Once fully cooled, stash your crackers in an air-tight container and eat them within three days. You can freeze extras, but you’ll need to re-crisp them in a 400° oven on a baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then let them cool on wire racks before serving.
Bacon Garlic Cheddar Crackers
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon seasoning salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup butter cubed and well-chilled
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 8 slices bacon cooked well and chopped
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C / gas mark 6.
In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and cayenne together until well-combined.
Add butter cubes to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. (About 20 times.)
Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl and stir in the crumbled bacon and shredded cheese. Add buttermilk and stir just until the dough forms a soft, cohesive ball. Place the dough in the freezer while you get the pan ready.
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 your dough with parchment or another baking mat and roll out until it's 1/4-inch (6.5mm) thickness. Remove the top piece of parchment and, using a butter knife, trim the edges of the dough. Score the remaining dough into 1-inch squares.
Bake 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove from oven when the edges begin to turn golden brown. (You may need to remove crackers on the outer edges before the rest if they cook faster.)
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it sit for 2 minutes, then transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool. Allow cookie sheet to cool, then repeat with remaining dough until it's all used.
Recipe NotesSTORAGE: Store in an air-tight container and eat within 3 days. If frozen for long-term storage, re-crisp the crackers in a 400°F / 200° C oven for 2-3 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool. Do not re-freeze.
Now, don’t say I haven’t warned you: they’re addictive!
This recipe for Bacon Garlic Cheddar Crackers was first published March 22, 2013. It has been revised with updated photos for republication.
More of my recipes:
Homemade Breakfast Bowls (Jimmy Dean Copycat)