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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Heart-Shaped Cheese Ball & Homemade Crackers

Heart-Shaped Cheese Ball & Homemade Crackers

Hi everybody :)
I've been so busy lately, I missed from posting the other day. To make things right, I'm sharing two recipes in today's post.
Since, February is considered a month for romance; cheese,  crackers and a bottle of wine are the prefect way to start off a romantic occasion.  We that in mind, I'm sharing Heart-Shaped Cheese Ball and Homemade Crackers. Let's get it started...
Homemade Plain Crackers
1/2 package (1 teaspoon) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 slightly beaten egg white
Coarse or seasoned salt, grated Parmesan cheese, toasted wheat germ, or toasted sesame seed

In a small bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water. Stir in oil, sugar, and the 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together flour and soda. Stir water
mixture into flour mixture. 

When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until thoroughly combined. Then knead for 1 to 2 minutes more to make a moderately Stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Place in a sealed plastic bag and chill for 1 hour. (Dough will rise slightly.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 1/8 -inch thic rectangle. Brush off excess flour. Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a baking sheet, set baking sheet aside. (Dough will rise slightly.)

Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 2-inch squares, triangles, or diamond Shapes. Or, using a 2-inch round cookie cutter cut dough into rounds. (I used a small oval-shape cutter.)
Place on the prepared baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork, prick crackers well.
In a small mixing bowl stir together egg white and 1 tablespoon water, lightly brush crackers with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with coarse or seasoned salt. Parmesan cheese, toasted wheat germ, or toasted sesame seed. 
(I sprinkled garlic salt & parsley on some and salt on some.) 
Bake in a 350° oven for 10 to 12 minutes or till done. Remove crackers from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 60 (I got about 48)

Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers
: Prepare Homemade Plain Crackers as directed at left, except reduce all-purpose flour to 1 cup. Stir 1/4 cup whole wheat flour into the flour mixture. Bake a 350° oven for 12 to 14 minutes or till done.

 (I sprinkled toasted wheat germ on some and salt & pepper on some.)
Source: Better and Gardens Old-Fashioned Home Baking

Heart-Shaped Ranch Cheese Ball
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon salad supreme seasoning
1/3 cup Cheddar Cheese 
1 (2 oz.) package bacon bits (2 tablespoons)
Paprika for coating 

In a medium bowl, mix  together all the ingredients except paprika.  
 Shape into a heart.
To coat:  Sprinkle  a layer of paprika about the size of the heart on plastic wrap. Place cheese ball heart on top of paprika, sprinkle paprika to cover. 
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in zip-lock bag and refrigerate until ready to serve. (Great if made-ahead for flavors to blend.
What I Did and/or Think: 
I divided the liquid mixture in half to make half plain and half wheat crackers. The other changes are in Bold, Italic, and Purple.

The Taste: The crackers have the same taste and crunch o saltine soda crackers. They were great with the cheese ball without being overpowering. I love the flavors of the cheese ball. It contained two of my favorite thing after all; bacon and cheese :). 

I think the next time I make the crackers, I'll add a little butter flavoring to the liquid mixture. It's an A.G.R. (Another Great REPEAT).

Being romantic can be very tasty :) Now what are you waiting for? Get an head start, make them today.
ENJOY! Come again...
I was featured on Bizzy Bake!!!

Linked to:
YeastSpotting! @ wildyeast 
BYOB @ Roxana's Home Baking : (Feb 2013) Bake Your Own Bread  
Recipe Sharing Monday @ Jam Hands  
Titus 2 Tuesday  
Show and Share Wednesday Semi-Homemade Mom 
Jaime @ Mom's Test Kitchen  
Bizzy Bake Recipe Box
Kathe With an E You're Gonna Love It  
Tasty Tuesday (Food Only) @ Naptime Creation 
Zentmrs: Tuesday Table  
Pint Sized Baker: Two Cup Tuesday #5 
Katherine Martinelli: Valentine's Day Round Up    

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