Sharp Cheddar Cheese Crackers

I’m not sure what it is about me and grocery shopping, but it always makes me hungry. Not the hungry-for-anything kind of hungry, the I-NEED-cheese-crackers kind of hungry. I scan the shelves…Annie’s cheese bunnies? Cute, but never enough cheese. Late July’s buttery crackers sandwiching cheese spread? Still not enough cheese. I want Cheez-its kind of cheesy, only healthy.

Is that too much to ask, world?

Apparently, it is, so I came home and made my own.

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I think you’ll agree that they are better than anything you can find at the store.

I posted this recipe on my Instagram (I finally joined…and shocked my brothers in the process! I’ll be posting short recipes and food inspiration for you over there, so give me a follow if you feel so inclined @cheffingitwithstiritup .), but when a friend asked me to do a post about it, I didn’t hesitate. Can you have too many cheese crackers in your life?

Sharp Cheddar Cheese Crackers

  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • 4 oz. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese – I used Calbot’s
  • 3 T. butter
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of paprika
  • as much fresh ground pepper as you please

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend together with your hands (or use a food processor) until it looks like this…

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Yes, it’s crumbly, but you should be able to squeeze it into balls. If not, add another tablespoon of butter.  Form into balls and place on parchment paper.

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Press the balls flat using your finger tips to get them as thin as possible.

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Poke holes in them with a fork or toothpick. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Turn the oven off, crack open the door and let them sit in there for about 5-10 minutes to get nice and crispy. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy!

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Semla with Coffee & Swedish Memories

We sat around the dinning room table, my Mom, sister, Mormor (mom’s mom) and I. Mom poured coffee into antique tea cups and I dusted powdered sugar over plump semlor. Mormor reminisced about her grandfather’s Swedish farm, Ybby. She has a painting of this farm hanging in her living room.

ybby-house

“The last time I had raw milk was when I was in Sweden”, she said as she poured fresh raw milk into her coffee cup. “When we used to visit the farm they had all kinds of stuff like that – homemade cheese and bread…it was so good.”

She was just a girl when she would visit with her brother,  sister, and mother. My Mormor is on the right.

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Mormor said they would pour warm milk into bowls with the semla – that’s the traditional way to eat it. I decided to add coffee to mine. Maybe it’s mixing cultures because it tastes a lot like Italian tiramisu. I imagine my great-great-grandfather may have tried his semla this way back in the days on the farm.

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You’ll never guess what made me want to make this recipe in the first place.

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That’s right, a stamp. My Mormor and her Swedish friend, Ruth, (Yes, the one who gave me the recipe for Mazarinmuffins.) send me all the stamps from their foreign correspondence. Many of them boast of Sweden’s delicious pastries and baked goods.

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Semla is a cardamom bun filled with almond paste, topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I don’t remember where I found this recipe, but there are similar ones all over the internet. Mormor said these were smaller than usual, but the size was perfect for tea time.

Swedish Semla

Makes 16 Semlor       (Semlor is plural for Semla, in case you were wondering. I was… :)

Bun-

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 1/4 c. milk
  • 5 t. yeast
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. ground cardamom
  • 4 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. water

Filling –

  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 200 g. almond paste or marzipan
  • powdered sugar
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1 t. vanilla

For buns –

Melt butter. Add milk and yeast. Let sit 3-5 minutes. Add salt, sugar and egg and beat well.

Combine baking powder, cardamom, and flour. Mix two cups of flour mixture into butter mixture and beat to combine. Add remaining flour and knead until smooth and glossy. Coat with oil, cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for one hour.

Turn out onto a bread board and cut into 16 pieces. Shape into round balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 450. Beat together egg and water. Brush rolls with egg mixture and bake 8 minutes, or until golden. Cool to the touch.

Cut the top off the bun with a serrated knife. Use a fork to make a well in the center of the bottom part of the bun. Reserve the centers for the filling.

For filling –

Combine almond paste and milk in a bowl. Add bun centers and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Spoon into the hollowed buns.

Whip cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together. Pipe or spoon onto filled buns. Place the top of the bun on the whipped cream and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

IMG_0702Serve with warm milk and hot coffee.

Gingerbread Waffles with Apples and Pecans

It was 0 degrees the other night. That’s right ZERO. We got 6 inches of snow over the weekend and the temps have stayed under 25 degrees since. I guess that isn’t too unusual for some of you, but around here, it rarely ever happens.

Snow Days call for some serious eats, don’t you think?

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I decided to make Gingerbread Waffles. I’d seen a recipe for them in some magazine, but I couldn’t remember which one it was. Besides, I didn’t want anything too sweet. Waffles call for maple syrup filling the holes and dripping over the top and I didn’t want anything competing with that (except butter, of course, but that’s a whole different competition!).

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Enough talk. Here’s the recipe –

Gingerbread Waffles with Apples and Pecans

Makes about 12 waffles

  • 3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. ginger
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. allspice
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 lg. apple, diced
  • 1/2 c. pecans, chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/4 oil (I used olive, but you could use melted butter or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • water or milk

Lightly oil and preheat waffle iron(s). Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add apple and pecans.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, oil, and molasses. Whisk together. Pour into dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

Add water or milk by the 1/2 cup, stirring to incorporate, until the batter is just a bit thicker than pancake batter. (I added about 2 cups, but it would vary slightly depending on your wheat, how thick your yogurt is, etc.)

Ladle batter into waffle iron and let bake. Top with melted butter, maple syrup, and whipped cream.

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These would make great soaked wheat waffles as well. Just combine yogurt and flour the night before, add the remaining ingredients the next morning, and go easy on the water/milk.

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Scarves and waffles…so cozy and warm!
My mom knit this shawl.

Happy Winter, everyone!

Sarah