- Date: Sunday, August 29, 2010 -- 6pm
- Location: East Lansing, MI
- Kitchen: Our House
- Dining Companion: Matty
- Recipe Rating: ???
What follows is a sad story...
I had put off making this recipe for years despite the fact that it sounded delicious (Cheese! Pastry!) because it looked pretty labor-intensive. We had a dinner party a couple weeks ago though, and the menu I picked was pretty easy. So I figured I would have time for one semi-ridiculous labor-intensive recipe. This was the one I picked! I started by making a pastry dough with flour, salt, cayenne, grated sharp Cheddar, butter, and heavy cream. I let the dough chill for several hours. Then I rolled out the dough, and using a tiny circular cookie cutter I cut tiny little rounds from the dough. I rerolled the scraps once and cut more rounds. I then baked these rounds in batches to get crispy little cheddar crackers. My special gentleman and I ate more than our fair share of these crispy little bites straight out of the oven. They were like homemade Cheez-Its, but so much more delicious and less neon orange than those familiar snack cracker. Each little cracker was buttery, cheesy and delicious!
If only the recipe had ended there, as it might well have, there would have been no problem. Everyone would have delighted in the tasty treats and at the same time wondered, "Who makes homemade Cheez-Its?" But, there were more steps, so I continued! I beat together some Gruyere with softened butter to form a cheesy filling. Then I sandwiched a bit of cheesy filling between a pair of delicious cheesy crackers. I formed many, many cheese and cheese sandwiches this way and set them on a baking sheet. So far, so good. I only had one step remaining: bake until the cheesy filling just melted. Easy enough, no?
Side note: I have four timers in my kitchen, and it is not unusual for them to all be running at once, all timing various aspects of a complicated meal. I strongly prefer one of the timers over the other three because it is the easiest to use, and makes the least annoying noise. Indeed, rather than incessantly beeping, it only beeps twice, and then stops. This is a nice quality in a timer, unless... you happen to miss the beeps.
I threw these cheesy sandwiches in the oven just a couple minutes before guests were supposed to arrive. They only needed 4 minutes in the oven. After about 2 minutes, a car pulled up, and I ran out of the kitchen to greet our guests. I got caught up in showing them around, offering them drinks etc... In short, I left the kitchen. My special gentleman was out back, manning the grill, so neither of us was in earshot of the few short beeps. I wandered back into the kitchen a few minutes later, but the timer wasn't beeping, and I was distracted by ribs and lamb and salad, etc... It wasn't until I thought, "I should put the asparagus in the oven," that I also thought, "Oh, shit!" It had been maybe 12 minutes since my little cheese sandwiches went into the oven and they were burnt (see picture above). The photo gives the impression that they might still have been edible, but indeed they were not. So very sad.
So how can I grade this recipe? I can't really. I can only say that those little cheese crackers were super-tasty, and I can only imagine that sandwiching some Gruyere between them wouldn't have hurt. I would guess this was an A-/B+ recipe. But who knows?
I was sad for a few minutes -- especially because of everything I made for that meal, those little pastries required the most work. But after mourning them for a few moments I let it go. These things happen. If things didn't go wrong once in a while it wouldn't be an adventure!
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