I’ve realized that I rather love the challenge of making foods to fit a certain theme, such as my breaking bad cupcakes and Halloween eyeball cookies. I decided that I wanted to do it again, but with something savory. On Saturday night I was attending a Halloween party and it felt like the perfect opportunity to try out the idea I had – adorable pumpkin shaped cheddar cheese crackers with fresh rosemary. I ended up being really happy with the results! It was hard to stop eating these things once they came out of the oven. I was “lucky” enough to have a few misshapen pumpkins, which gave me a perfect excuse to pop them in my mouth. I made an additional batch with a blend of white cheeses, garlic, and fresh dill that were amazing as well. I will definitely be remaking those for a future post. For now I’m sticking with sharing these cuties, because they are perfect for a fall table, a Halloween party, or a bit of Thanksgiving pre-feast snacking.
Unfortunately we ended up being very late to the party, due to a few costume complications. I decided to attempt to transform myself into a sassy dame of the silver screen. The makeup test run I did a few days before the party didn’t prepare me for some of the problems I’d run into with makeup transferring to my clothes. I learned (after a lengthy trial and error process) that next time I need to set the makeup with significantly more translucent powder. On the bright side you can learn from my mistakes if you want to attempt this really unique costume! All you need to do is blend black and white makeup to create a custom shade of grey for your skin tone (I used Makeup Forever’s clown white and black color flash stick) and apply it to all places where your skin will show. Set with powder and a bit of makeup setting spray (I’ve heard hair spray works but I have no idea whether that’s a good idea haha) before applying makeup as usual. I used matte white, grey, and black eye shadows for shading and highlighting, grey eyeliner on my lips, black on my eyes, and white on my waterline. The result is definitely something people will talk about and it looks fantastic in pictures!
But you didn’t come here for costume ideas. You want crackers in your belly. You’re in luck because these crackers are really easy to make too. I’ve made cheese crackers many times before and usually it involves rolling out the dough and cutting the crackers into squares. I find that process somewhat tedious and time consuming, so changing it up to a log ‘n’ slice method makes it much easier. With a little manipulation you can slice your crackers into little pumpkin shapes that people will think you put a lot of effort into. Simply roll out a log as normal, flatten it slightly, and create a groove in the top – similarly to the top half of a heart. I used the flat handle of a spatula to do it. I pressed it down into the dough, shimmied it back and forth a little to create a V shape, and use my fingers to soften the harden edges. A couple of minutes later you should have something that looks like this.
Wrap the log up and transfer to the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. This will allow you to slice your crackers much more easily without deforming the shape. With a very sharp knife, slice your crackers into approximately 1/4″ pieces. If you want a more crisp cracker you can go as thin as 1/8″. Gently wedge a pumpkin seed into the top groove of each pumpkin and transfer to a parchment paper lined sheet for baking.
I was able to get about two dozen crackers from the entire batch, but if you choose to do a thinner cracker you should get almost double that. The resulting texture of the thicker cracker is almost like a crumbly, crunchy shortbread. The sharpness of the cheese along with the woodsiness of the rosemary packs so much rich flavor that you won’t want to stop eating them.
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (orange cheese is necessary for the pumpkin color)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 tablespoons cold water
- Pumpkins seed for “stems”
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- If you have a grater attachment for your food processor, grate the butter and cheese together. I know this sounds a little strange, but I find this to be a huge time saver. Otherwise you can cut the butter into small pieces and blend it with grated cheese. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
- Add flour, rosemary, and seasonings to food processor and blend until the rosemary is in small pieces.
- Add cheese mixture to the flour and pulse until crumbly.
- With the food processor running, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together in a ball. You may only need a tablespoon, so only add as much as is necessary.
- Divide dough into two pieces and roll each one into a log shape. I did this on a sheet of parchment paper so it wouldn’t stick. If your dough is too crumbly you may need to knead it for a moment or add a touch more water. Flatten each log slightly so they are a little bit squat.
- With a thin, flat object (a handle, a clean ruler, the blunt edge of a knife) press it into the top of the dough and shimmy it back and forth to create a V shape like the top of a heart. Use your fingers to soften any hard edges. Wrap the logs up and transfer to the freezer to chill for 20 minutes.
- Remove dough from freezer. With a sharp knife slice each log into 1/4″ pieces. For a more crisp cracker you can go as thin as 1/8″.
- Gently wedge a pumpkin seed into the top groove of each cracker, place on a parchment lined sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned at the edges. Thinner crackers may need less time, so keep an eye on them.
- Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before serving (though they are delicious warm from the oven)!