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Zesty Cheese Wafers picture

Zesty Cheese Wafers

A simple pastry dough with a little cheese added results in these crispy and delicious wafers. Add them to fruit and cheese platters or top them with fig jam and a little prosciutto.

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 6 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • 4 tablespoons cold water, if necessary

Makes 50 wafers

  1. Place the flour, salt and cayenne pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 3 or 4 times to mix.
  2. Add chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. (Note:  It is important that the butter is very cold or the pastry won’t be as crisp as possible.)
  3. Add cheese and pulse to combine. Mixture should start to form a dough in the bowl. If the mixture is too dry and doesn't come together when you squeeze a handful, add a tablespoon of water. Pulse and test moisture level again; if necessary, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture holds together.
  4. Turn out dough onto work surface and form into a ball; divide ball in two.
  5. Place half of the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and form into a thin log, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Repeat with remaining dough. Wrap logs well in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard, about an hour, or freeze for later use. Pastry will keep for 24 hours in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
  6. To bake, preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut thin slices (about 1/8-inch) from log and place on parchment paper, leaving space in between wafers as they will spread slightly during baking.
  7. Bake wafers for 15 to 18 minutes or until they just start to lightly brown. Let cool on tray for 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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