Introduction: Cheese Snack Snakes - That Bite Back
We often have horror movie nights on the weekends, and when we do, we like to have snacks that go with the theme. One of our favorites is Cheese Snack Crackers. This snake snack version is cheese crackers brushed with Chamoy, a tangy sauce from Mexican Cuisine, that has a tangy bite that everyone enjoys.
What you will need:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp El Chilerito Chamoy Sauce
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white ground pepper
- 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 8 ounces grated cheese (we used an artisan Manchego, but any cheese will do)
- 3-4 tbsp water (approximately)
- A food processor
- Parchment Paper (not wax or deli, but parchment paper, more about that later)
- Baking sheet or jelly roll pan
Step 1: Preheat Oven and Mix
Pulse the flour, salt and pepper, then add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add grated cheese and pulse until mixture again resembles coarse meal. The photos can be used as a guide. As with biscuit making, be sure to use cold butter and don't over process the mixture or your butter will melt and your crackers won't be as light and flaky as they could be.
Step 2: Cheese Dough Ball Time
Pulse in water, one tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rolls around the processor. It took us 3 tablespoons with the flour we used, the key is to be patient, and add the water slowly while you pulse.
Step 3: Smack, Fold, Smack, Fold...quarter
You need to smack your dough around if you want really mean snakes.
Actually, this process of flattening and folding is similar to laminating dough. If you do it a half dozen times or so, your crackers will be flakier and have more of that "snack cracker" texture people are used to. Some people recommend putting the dough in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes before this step, but I have found if you flatten the dough, fold it in thirds, turn it 90 degrees, and repeat the process about 6 times you get the same result, largely due to the cheese content.
When you are finished, flatten the dough out and cut into quarters with a food scraper or spatula.
Step 4: Roll, Smack, Fold, Smack, Quarter.
Roll the quarters of dough into balls and then flatten each ball, fold, and flatten again.
Once again cut the dough into quarters.
Step 5: Roll, Smack, Quarter....Again?!
Once again we roll the smaller quarters into balls, flatten, then cut into quarters. This gives us the perfect size dough balls for our snack snakes. Don't worry about them all being the exact same size as some variety of sizes will give us a variety of snakes.
Roll the quarters into a cylinder using the palm of your hand. Don't worry about it looking like a snake just yet.
Repeat this process until all your dough balls have been turned into small cylinders.
Step 6: Time to Make Some Cheese Snakes.
Take one of your dough cylinders and roll it back and forth with the palm of your hand then the tips of your fingers until you have something roughly shaped like an earthworm.
Roll one end thinner than the other, then flatten the thick end to form the head of your snake.
Place your snake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and curve. Any curve will do.
As I briefly mentioned earlier, parchment paper is something I feel is essential to good cracker making. It is non-stick, aids with clean up, but also helps to transfer heat effectively to the dough in a way that other sheet lining material, including silicone mats, don't.
Step 7: Brush and Bake
Take the hot sauce and using a brush or the end of a table knife “paint” hot sauce onto snakes. I find that using a "dabbing" motion helps to give the snakes the proper texture.
Bake at 350° F for 18-20 minutes on the center rack of oven. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Enjoy the cheesy goodness!