Cheese Doodles

featured2A nice mug of tea, a bowl of cheese nibbles and a little company–what could be better? These are crunchy on the outside, a little chewy on the inside and very cheesy.

The dough can be made a day in advance. The doodles are best the day you bake them, if possible, fresh from the oven.

Cheese Doodles (makes oodles, or approximately 120)

1-1/3 cups (320ml) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter (1 stick), ice cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) sweet paprika
1/4 (1.25ml) teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lb. (115g) blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 lb. (115g)cheddar cheese, grated (Use a strong aged cheddar. I used Dubliner Irish cheddar which is widely available. Please don’t use a rubbery tasteless supermarket brand orange cheese…)
2 Tbsp. (30ml) cold water

You can add additional spices and/or herbs if you like. Perhaps cayenne or chili powder or smoked paprika. You could try herbs like thyme, sage, rosemary or chives.

You will need a baking sheet, cooling rack and parchment paper. To keep the doodles from getting too brown on the bottom and to help them crisp all around, place them on a parchment lined cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. If you don’t line the rack with parchment the doodles will droop through the holes of the rack.

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

To make the dough:

In a food processor, add the flour, butter, baking powder.

Pulse about 12 time using one second pulses until the butter pieces are pea size.

Add the cheese, paprika and black pepper.

Pulse another 12 or so times until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Add the water and pulse a few times until it is evenly distributed. The dough will not gather into a ball–it will look mealy–but will hold together when pinched. Turn the dough onto a work surface and press into a ball. Refrigerate the dough for at least a couple of hours or overnight.

To shape and bake the doodles:

Depending on the size of your cutting board or work space, you might need to divide the dough into smaller pieces. I cut mine in two.

On a lightly floured surface, with a lightly floured pin, roll out the dough to 1/16 of an inch. The dough is going to puff up a good deal so you want it thin.

Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut the dough into 1/4 inch strips and then crosswise into three inch (or so) sticks.

Shape each stick into a twist or curlicue and place on the parchment lined rack with a little space between each doodle. If they are right next to each other they will grow together. You will probably need to make them in batches. While the one batch is baking, keep the remaining doodles or dough in the refrigerator.
Bake the doodles in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Check them halfway through and rotate the pan if they’re browning differently front to back. They’re done when golden brown and crisp. You don’t want them pale and doughy.

Transfer to another wire rack or plate to cool. Serve as soon as possible. They will keep for a few days in an airtight container. If they get a bit stiff put them on a baking tray and warm them in a 250 degree oven for about ten minutes to loosen up the butter and cheese.

Daisy the Doodle Vacuum