How to Make Amazing Artisan Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers

I love crackers. I like crackers plain, with cheese, with dips, whatever.  I love 'em.  But I don't usually buy them because I don't like added preservatives and everything else.  So when my super talented aunt, who always creates amazing things, gave me a recipe for Artisan Cheese Crackers it was like finding gold.  I've made a few modifications to the original recipe and I love it!  I served these at a large family gathering and my sisters couldn't stop eating them either.  They are SO GOOD!  Just like most baked goods they are amazing right out of the oven.  I have to use a lot of self control not to eat them all at once.  And really they are no harder than making cookies so you can make them too. Are you ready?  Here is my favorite version of my aunts crackers:

Artisan Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers

3 cups whole wheat flour, freshly ground*
1 1/3 cups cold butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese**
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
2-3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
sea salt/kosher salt 

*You can actually use any combination of white and wheat flours to make 3 cups, but my favorite is 3 cups of freshly ground wheat flour.  
**You could also use "4 Cheese Mexican Blend" cheese or another cheese of your choice but sharp cheddar is my favorite.  If you use THRIVE Cheese it needs to be reconstituted.

Note: You can use a food processor, mixer, or do this by hand.  I usually do the first three steps by hand and the 4th step with a mixer.

To make the dough:  
1. Thoroughly mix together the flour, kosher salt, white pepper, parsley, and ground mustard.  
2. Cut in the butter so it resembles small pea sized crumbs.  
3. Using a fork, stir in the shredded cheese.  
4. Slowly add the 1/2 cup water until the dough comes together in a ball.  If needed, add the tablespoon of water.
5.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 1 hour.

To bake:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cut parchment paper to fit your baking sheets.
2. On a floured surface roll out about a quarter of the dough at a time to about 1/8 inch think.
3. Cut out your cookies (you can cut them with a pizza cutter into squares, use cookie cutters, or use a 1 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter).
4. Transfer your cut outs to the parchment covered baking sheet.
5. Prick each cracker 3 times and sprinkle with sea salt/kosher salt.
6. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.  They can burn quickly so set your timer and keep an especially close eye on the first batch to see what time works best for your oven.
7.  Cool completely on a paper towel before storing (if there are any to store).

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