Homemade White Cheddar Thumbprint Crackers/Cookies

Last summer the two jalapeno pepper plants I planted yielded more than 300 peppers.  After canning more jars than I would need in a single year, using some in daily meals, gifting some to the neighbors and family, and freezing some just in case I found another use for them, I still had more peppers than I knew what to do with.  As usual, this brought me to the internet to search for uses for these wonderfully hot peppers.

Jalepeno Peppers

Jalapeno Peppers

One recipe I found was for Jalapeno Jelly.  Thrilled with this new recipe, I made a full batch and put it on the pantry shelf, hoping to find a use for it sometime in the future.  To be honest, I was sort of afraid to even try it.  I like hot things, but jalapeno’s are so very hot, that even testing this jelly was not something I could bring myself to do.

Last week, after I made my Cranberry-Tangerine Spread, I bought some water crackers to eat it on.  Remembering seeing an advertisement where someone used jalapeno jelly over cream cheese and served it with water crackers, I decided to finally test the jelly.  I fixed two crackers.  First I spread a thin layer of cream cheese on each cracker and then a thin layer of jalapeno jelly.  Not wanting to go through this experiment alone, I took the crackers to Hubby and we ate them together.  What a surprise!  I was expecting the jelly to be hot — not sweet. It was both hot and sweet which was a total shock.  Why, I’m not really sure as the recipe called for lots of sugar, but I guess I never thought beyond the hotness.

Hubby absolutely loved it and proceeded to follow me back out to the kitchen and make himself a plate full of crackers.  Totally thrilled, my mind began to race with the possibilities.  I remembered printing off a recipe for a thumbprint cookie that called for hot pepper jelly as the center.  Perfect.  Not only would I have another use for all the jalapeno jelly, but hopefully have a new appetizer worthy of serving to guests.

The recipe I printed off used several ingredients that Hubby doesn’t like — nuts for one.  He isn’t fond of having nuts in any cookie or dip I make.  So, I tweaked the recipe a bit and came up with the following:

White Cheddar Thumbprint Cookies

DSCF6729

  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Sharp White Cheddar Cheese (I used Cracker Barrel)
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Butter Softened
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 Cup Flour

Toppings (optional):

  • Hot Pepper Jelly
  • Cream Cheese
  1. In a food processor, pulse together cheeses and butter until smooth.
  2. Add egg yolk and pepper.  Pulse until blended.
  3. Add flour to food processor and pulse until dough forms.
  4. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. At this point you can make an indentation in the center of each ball with your thumb if you wish or use a meat tenderizer as I did to press the cookies flat.
  6. Place cookie tray in fridge for 15 minutes.
  7. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, until lightly golden.  Cool on baking sheet.
  8. If you want to top, place a small amount of hot pepper jelly in the center of each cookie or a small amount of cream cheese and top with hot pepper jelly.

Hubby loved these cookies with and without the jalapeno jelly.  I made the first tray of cookies with thumb indentations and the second pressed flat.

This recipe can be tweaked in many ways.  I can’t wait to try them using different cheeses and possibly some cayenne pepper.  The white cheddar made the flavor of these cookies very similar to that of a Cheez-It, but the texture was far superior and the flavor more pronounced. A definite keeper for my recipe box.

I’m not as open-minded as I’d like to be when it comes to trying new foods, but I’m getting better.  Having Hubby around as a willing guinea pig is a big help in this department, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

 

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