This quite possibly could be one of the easiest recipes I have ever made, but it never ceases to amaze me and anybody I serve it to. Why? Simple. It tastes incredible, and – it has only one ingredient, which happens to be cheese. It’s really hard to find a cheese hater out there, and even more difficult to find a melted cheese hater. Grate it, bake it, eat it, share some, then hide the rest for yourself.
Seriously – this is really a one ingredient endeavor. You can use a combination of cheeses if you’d like, and the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. They should be a relatively firm cheese though, in order to prevent too much spreading out in the oven. Asiago, Machengo, Grana Padano, Romano…all of these would be great, or a mix of different kinds. I usually opt for what is in the fridge that is clamoring to escape, and have been known to sneak some Provolone in with the firmer cheeses from time to time. Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to grate or finely chop the chosen cheeses. A food processor makes quick work of this, so if you have one, by all means haul it out for this job.
Your grated cheese gets dropped on a cookie sheet using parchment paper or a Silpat mat to prevent sticking, and baked until it starts to bubble and change color. This is between 10-20 minutes, but I usually opt for longer than shorter time. If you take them out too early, the crispy crunch factor will be greatly diminished, so be patient and you will be rewarded. Once cooled, they are the ultimate lacy, crispy, cheesy, crunchy bite. In addition to crackers, they are a fine treat crumbled on a salad, or on a rice or grain bowl, pasta, or stirred into soup. We’ve even crunched them up and topped fish filets before baking and it blew my mind right off the top of my head.
One more good thing: I buy big hunks of parmesan when I find it at a good price, then make a ton of these and freeze what I don’t use right away. They freeze beautifully, and it’s nice to know you’ve got a special treat waiting for you in the freezer for those days when a gift to yourself is in order. Hope you enjoy these, and thanks so much for reading today!! xoxoxo
- 1-pound Parmesan cheese, freshly grated or chopped into tiny pieces in a food processor. This will give you roughly 18-20 crackers. NOTE: No need for the expensive Parmigiano-Reggiano stuff. If using all Parmesan, I find a good, inexpensive Parmesan. Bel Gioso is my current favorite. My other favorite way to make them is to use a combination of cheeses, and love mixing Parmesan/Grana Padano, Asiago, and Provolone. Often, I will throw in a little bit of Sharp Cheddar too – It just depends on what is hanging around the house when the mood strikes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grate the cheese by hand or use a food processor. If using a food processor, cut the cheese into about 1-inch cubes and process in small batches or you will run the risk of getting the processor blades stuck in cheese. This is not pretty.
- Drop the grated cheese in about 2 tablespoon scoops onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, or on a Silpat mat. Note: A coffee measuring spoon works well for this since it just happens to be 2 tablespoons. One more thing: Feel free to make them smaller if you want with no harm done.
- Pat the cheese down to form a round, cracker shape.
- Bake the crackers for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling fiercely and starting to turn color to a more golden shade. Every oven is different, so keep your eyes open at about the 10-minute mark. If you take them out too early, the crunch factor in the finished cracker is greatly reduced, so it’s best to err on the side of over rather than under baking.
- Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet. When cool, you can serve immediately as crackers. To make croutons, just crumble the crackers into fairly large pieces. If you have any NOTE: Leftover crackers (ha ha) can be kept in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator. These crackers can also freeze beautifully.