I enjoy taking the train into the city…an easy 30 minute commute to Grand Central Terminal. Like any train station, there are newspaper boxes and one box in particular carries New York Cottages & Gardens (NYC&G). It’s a glossy magazine filled with upscale design and decorating tips. I picked one up for the train ride and poured over the pages, sometimes drooling over the slick interiors or lush, manicured gardens. Sometimes I find the most interesting recipes in design and decor magazines. In this holiday issue was Ina Garten’s, ‘An Easy, Foolproof Menu‘. The jalapeño cheddar crackers caught my attention and I was hooked.
Makes 32 crackers
adapted from Ina Garten
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
¹⁄8 teaspoon baking powder
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
5 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar, grated
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
3 tablespoons ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
Fleur de sel or sea salt
Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheddar, jalapeño, and chipotle chili powder and pulse again. With the food processor running, add the ice water all at once. Continue pulsing until the mixture begins to form a ball.
Place dough onto a floured board and roll it into a 14-inch log. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut the dough in 3/8-inch-thick slices. Place the crackers on the prepared pan, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle with the fleur de sel. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: These were melt-in-your-mouth goodness and a perfect size for finger food. So tender and flaky with hints of jalapeño breaking through the cheddar. I love the smoky essence of chipotle chili powder. Next time I will make these with a bit more chipotle chili powder. Enjoy!