Cheddar Cheese Shortbread Crackers


These crunchy crackers are a hit at any party.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs

These crisp, buttery crackers make an impressive hostess gift alongside a bottle of wine. We've included a classic Cheddar option, as well as three creative flavor variations if you want to mix things up: Pimiento Cheese; Pecan-and-Thyme; and Bacon, Bourbon, and Benne Seed.

Cheddar Shortbread Crackers
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Torie Cox


  • 8 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, finely shredded (about 2 cups)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup fine plain white cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

  • 3 tablespoons water


  1. Process cheese, flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, dry mustard, and pepper in a food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles wet sand, about 20 seconds. With processor running, add water through food chute; process until dough forms a ball, 10 to 15 seconds.

  2. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a 6-inch log, about 1 ¾ inches in diameter. Wrap logs individually in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F with oven racks in upper and lower thirds. Unwrap logs, and slice into ⅛-inch-thick rounds. Place dough rounds, ½ inch apart, on 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until edges are golden brown, about 14 minutes, rotating baking sheets top to bottom halfway through bake time. Cool crackers on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Try These Twists

Pimiento Cheese Shortbread CrackersPrepare recipe as directed in Step 1, substituting finely shredded sharp yellow Cheddar cheese for extra-sharp white Cheddar. Knead ¼ cup diced, well-drained pimientos and ¼ cup chopped fresh chives into dough. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 2 through 4.

Pecan-and-Thyme Shortbread CrackersPrepare recipe as directed in Step 1. Knead ½ cup finely chopped toasted pecans and 1 ½ Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme into dough. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 2 through 4.

Bacon, Bourbon, and Benne Seed Shortbread CrackersPrepare recipe as directed in Step 1, adding 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar with cheese mixture and substituting bourbon for water. Knead ½ cup chopped cooked bacon into dough. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 2 and 3, rolling dough logs in ⅓ cup benne seeds before wrapping and chilling. Just before baking, sprinkle 2 Tbsp. benne seeds evenly over dough rounds. Proceed as directed in Step 4.

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