Pure flaky, buttery, spicy, cheesy goodness – these gluten free crackers are what snacking dreams are made of. With the slight heat from the chilli and smoked paprika, and all the cheesy deliciousness from the cheddar, what’s not to love about these spicy cheddar crackers?!
Do you write to-do lists? I do. Only, I’m finding lately that my to-do lists are actually more like to-do essays. And… it can be overwhelming. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not exactly brilliant when it comes to dealing with stress – and in that respect, to-do lists can be something of a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it’s all there, written down, for you to peruse at any time. It’s ordered and clear, and crossing off completed tasks is one of the best feelings in the world.
On the other hand… it can have a bit of a WHOA factor. Yes, you’ve crossed off three things already, but there’s always twenty more waiting for you, mocking you with their exclamation marks and all those this-is-important-like-ASAP-important (always multicoloured) stars. And I’m fully aware of the – completely unreasonable – three point theory where you choose three high priority things to achieve per day.
I’m sorry, but only three things per day? No can do, friends. No can do. Still, it’s a nice idea.
Now, I’m not saying this (just) to whine. I like having and completing to-do lists. But you know what our to-do lists are missing? A bullet point saying “chill out, you got this, BREATHE”. Actually, we should all write that on a post-it (because post-its = LIFE) and stick it somewhere we can see it every day (multiple times per day, while we’re at it). Or make it your phone screensaver. Or something. Just… chill out. We got this. Mmkay?
One thing that can contribute to the chill out bullet point is making a batch of these seriously delicious gluten free crackers. I say ‘seriously’ because these spicy cheddar crackers mean business. They’re pretty much cracker perfection – and they’re 100% gluten free!
Easy to make
And they’re so ridiculously relaxing to prepare! It’s just such a comfort to rub the butter into flour (with your fingers, obviously), grate a small mountain of cheddar, and knead the chilli powder and smoked paprika into the marbled dough – to obtain an artwork. I’m not joking – the red streaks of the spices, the flakes of cheddar, the pieces of butter peaking though the dough… it’s every foodie’s dream.
During baking, your kitchen will be filled with the most mouthwatering smell of spices and cheese. So. Much. Cheese.
Once baked, the gluten free crackers are golden brown, with a reddish-orangish tinge due to the chilli and paprika and so SO flaky, it’s insane. You’ll probably burn your fingers and tongue trying to get a taste before they’re completely cool – it’s a given, no point denying it.
But they’re definitely at their best when cool, when you can taste the heat of the spices, the salty cheesiness of the cheddar (you know what I mean, right?), the buttery richness of the gluten free cracker dough itself… It’s a symphony of flavours – on its own, each individual component is delicious, but put them together and you’ve got yourself some serious flavour fireworks.
We all have our ways of relaxing and chilling out and breathing and remembering to calm-down-it’s-okay-you-got-this. For me, it’s baking. Sometimes, it’s baking these gluten free crackers, other times it’s experimenting with vegan lemon curd, or dreaming up new raw vegan dessert combos.
I don’t know what your way is. I hope it works for you. But do give these a try – while making them is easy and fun, eating them is all that… and more. And at the end of the day, having a quick delicious snack on hand is never a bad thing.
Gluten Free Spicy Cheddar Crackers
- 1 1/4 cup (150 g) plain gluten free flour blend (I've used a simple store-bought blend of rice, potato and maize flour with no added xanthan gum)
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup + 1/2 tbsp (65 g) unsalted butter, cubed – COLD (it's important that the butter is cold, straight out of the fridge – much like when you make a pie crust)
- 3 1/2 oz (100 g) cheddar cheese, grated
- 6 tbsp cold water
- pinch of chilli (you can add more if you want spicier crackers)
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC) and line a baking sheet with baking/greaseproof paper.
- In a bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum and salt.
- Add the cubed COLD unsalted butter and, using your hands, rub it into the flour. At the end, you should have fully incorporated the majority of it into the flour, but still have quite a few leftover pea-sized pieces.(The greater the proportion of the butter that hasn't been fully incorporated, the flakier the crackers in the end.)
- Add the grated cheddar and mix well, until it's evenly distributed.
- Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together into a ball. Knead it together briefly.
- At this point, you can add the spices. Knead them into the cracker dough quickly – some marbling is perfectly fine.
- Refrigerate the cracker dough, wrapped in cling film, for about 1/2 hour.
- Roll out the cracker dough (I prefer to do so between two layers of cling film) about 3 mm thick, and cut out the crackers with a cookie cutter of choice (or make them rectangular, cutting them with a knife).I cut them with a 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) diameter round cookie cutter. This gives about 35 gluten free crackers.
- Transfer the cut out crackers onto the lined baking sheet and bake them at 375 ºF (190 ºC) for about 18 - 20 minutes, or until puffed up slightly and deep golden brown.
- Allow to cool, and enjoy!
- The gluten free crackers keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3 - 4 days. (Longer than that, and they can dry out.)
Looking for more gluten free deliciousness? Look no further!