PIMENTO CHEESE CRISPS (Adapted from The Runaway Spoon)
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos
8 ounces sharp cheddar
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper
A generous pinch of salt
A few grinds black pepper
½ cup chopped pecans
Rinse and drain the pimentos and place them on paper towels. Pat them dry and then leave them for 10 – 15 minutes to air dry.
Grate the cheese and the cold butter together in a food processor. Switch from the grating blade to the metal blade, then add the flour, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne salt and pepper. Process until the dough just begins to come together and looks moist and grainy. Add the pecans and process until the dough begins to pull away from the sides and form a ball. Add the pimentos and pulse a few times until the dough is a ball.
Dump the dough onto a piece of waxed paper, scrapping out all the pimento pieces. Knead the dough a few times just to incorporate and distribute the pimento pieces. Cut two more lengths of waxed paper, divide the dough into two portions and place each portion on one waxed paper length. Form each onto a log and roll tightly, pressing in to form a nice solid log. Twist the ends like a candy wrapper. Refrigerate the logs for at least an hour before baking, but you can refrigerate them for two days or freeze them for 3 months.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the rolls from the fridge and slice into medium-thick wafers, about 1/4 inch each. Place on the baking sheet with a little room to spread and bake until golden around the edges and firm on the top, about 10 – 12 minutes. Cool on the pans for a few minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool.
*These would make great Christmas or other gifts, prepared and then wrapped in the wax paper. Just freeze, tie with ribbon and add cooking instructions, and you’re good to go!
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