I’m helping to build a great Tapas spread for you! And today I have a really fun and delicious little Manchego Cracker recipe as part of the spread. These crispy little Manchego Crackers are light and flaky savory shortbread crackers with the nuttiness of Manchego cheese. The cayenne pepper gives them a nice little kick of spice that’ll dance on your tongue for a moment.
Great to nibble on their own, they’re also perfect for a Tapas spread. Serve them with Marcona almonds, marinated olives, or quince paste. Of course, they also go well with my Grilled Red Pepper and Garlic Dip. And, soon I’ll share my recipe for Crock Pot Herbed Almonds (see photo below).
Manchego is a dry nutty cheese from Spain. My grocery store carries Manchego, as does the Trader Joe’s near me, Amazon also carries it. If you can’t find Manchego or don’t want to buy it, any hard dry cheese will work here, such as Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano.
If you aren’t keen on rolling out dough with a rolling-pin, I think these would also work really well as a log dough. So, after mixing the dough in the food processor, roll it into a log rather than a disk. Refrigerate the dough, as in the recipe, and then, rather than rolling it, simply cut the log into disks or rounds that are about 1/8-inch thick. Place those disks on the baking sheet, then bake as directed. Now, I didn’t do this, but I really think it would work. Let me know if you try it!
I did the rolling-pin method, and I used a 1 & 3/4-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter. I got 35 crackers out of my dough; you might be able to get a few more, as mine were a little thicker than 1/8-inch. The dough is pretty easy to work with. It’s a simple shortbread-type dough. Also, I like to use insulated baking sheets when baking something like this. It totally makes it so I don’t burn the crackers (or cookies!).
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 ounces Manchego cheese, finely grated, about 1 cup
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse just until a dough forms. (Do not overwork dough, or biscuits will be tough.) Gather dough into a ball, and flatten into a 5-inch disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill dough, until firm, about 30 minutes. The Dough can be made ahead and chilled like this for up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin until about 1/8-inch thick, roughly 14-inch round.
- Working quickly, cut out rounds with a 1 ¾ to 2-inch floured biscuit cutter, and arrange the rounds ½-inch apart on a silpat or parchment paper covered baking sheet. Reroll scraps (but only once or they will get tough; chill first if soft), and cut out more rounds. Prick each round 2 or 3 times with a fork.
- Bake in middle of oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Allow crackers to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer them directly to a cooling rack to cool.
- If your kitchen is warm, roll out dough between 2 sheets of wax paper.
- Store crackers layered between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.