Friday, August 27, 2010
If you have small children, you know of their immense love for those small, orange, fish shaped crackers. If you go the organic route, those crackers have "better" ingredients, are probably shaped like bunnies and cost a small fortune. I don't really like feeding my kids crackers simply because there is really no nutritional value at all in them (they are after all processed). But crackers hard to beat when a melt down is occurring and you are in public!
I ran across a recipe for "Cheese Shortbread" in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (the book is absolute gold mine for healthy alternatives) that seemed to fit the bill to replace any crispy "cheesy" snack item.
I love these! My husband says they are just tiny cheese biscuits (he's right). My 4 year old didn't like them at all, but the cayenne is a tad spicy. If you are making these for picky eaters, skip the cayenne or at least halve it. I used 1 cup of sharp cheddar and 1 cup extra sharp cheddar and the paprika (mine is sweet Hungarian) on top is delicious.
These are super easy and fairly quick to make. My 4 year old did most of the ball shaping on her own. Now if I can get used to the gigantic mess she makes while "helping", we'll be all set.
Cheese Puffs (because kids don't eat "shortbread"!)
1 stick cold butter, cut in to cubes
1 1/2 cup flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 cups semi-hard cheese, grated (cheddar, Emmental, Gruyere)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Put all ingredients except the paprika in to a food processor. Pulse to mix just until mixture resembles a coarse meal, but will stick together. You can also do this by hand with a pastry blender or fork in a large bowl. Roll dough in to 1 inch balls. Place on cookie sheet (you can place them fairly close together) and press down slightly. Bake for about 10 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove to rack to cool. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
From Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian