I can never resist a simple pasta dish adorned with pecorino cheese and black pepper. Cacio e pepe is like the grown-up version of mac and cheese. Instead of pasta, the same flavors have been incorporated into these crackers. I used pepper jack cheese because that’s what I had at home while wanting to make this on a whim. You could even use sharp cheddar and pair the crackers with a good mango chutney to give it an English touch. They make a wonderful, fuss-free hors d’oeuvre and pair with a chilled glass of Prosecco and you’ll know what I am talking about. The dough can be made in advance and make sure to make a big batch because these cheesy, buttery, shortbread like crackers are sure to be a huge hit.
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
2 cups pepper jack cheese, grated
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (if you are using pecorino cheese)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold water
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Combine the flour, salt, black pepper(if using) and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine until the mixture is coarse.
3. Add cheese and pulse to incorporate.
4. Drizzle water and pulse until the mixture begins to come together in a ball.
5. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness.
7. Cut as many crackers as possible using cookie cutters.
8. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the crackers are lightly browned.
9. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.