Cheddar Cheese Coins
RECIPES & IDEAS
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/8 ounces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons water
Process cheese, flour, cornstarch, mustard, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until the mixture is well combined and forms small beads, about 30 seconds. Add butter in 3 additions, pulsing 5 to 6 times after each addition, until the mixture is the texture of wet sand, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. With the processor running, pour 3 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, through the food chute, processing just until the dough comes together in a mass, 20 to 25 seconds. (Be sure to stop processing once dough forms — you can continue to knead the cheese mixture into a ball on a clean work surface if you’re unsure. It is important not to work it to death.)
Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 9- to 10-inch log on a clean work surface. Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap. Transfer dough logs to refrigerator; chill until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in middle and lower third positions. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unwrap 1 dough log; slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick coins to yield about 30 coins, and arrange about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven until the centers of cheese coins are set but not crisp and the edges and bottom sides of the coins are golden brown and crisp, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets between middle and bottom racks halfway through the baking time. Remove cheese coins from the oven, and transfer them to a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes. (Cheese coins will continue to crisp as they cool.)
Line baking sheets with fresh parchment paper, and repeat steps 4 and 5 with the remaining dough log. Serve immediately.
Make Ahead: Cheese coin logs can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight (12 hours) before slicing and baking. Baked coins may be stored in an airtight container with 1 bread slice (to help keep coins from going stale) at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Green Chile and Cornmeal Coins
In step 1, prepare the recipe as directed, substituting cornstarch with 2 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal and dry mustard with 1 tablespoon Hatch green chile powder (such as Desert Provisions). When adding water to the butter mixture, add 1 teaspoon of Habanero Jelly with the first addition of water. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
Benne and Black Pepper Coins
Heat 1 tablespoon of benne seeds and 2 teaspoons of black pepper in a cast-iron skillet over medium, shaking skillet occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add seed mixture to cheese mixture with the first addition of butter in step 1.
In step 4, roll each unsliced dough log in 1/4 cup benne seeds to coat. Proceed with the recipe.
Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Coins
In step 1, reduce the salt amount to 1/2 teaspoon and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of Bourbon Bacon Jam to the cheese mixture with the first addition of butter. Proceed with the recipe as directed.