In Charleston, South Carolina, tins of these savory little homemade crackers are a popular hostess gift, usually to be served with cocktails. We recommend using the best quality cheese available.
- 12 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
- 6 oz. sharp white cheddar, grated on small holes of a box grater (to yield 1 1⁄2 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour, preferably White Lily flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3⁄4 tsp. cayenne
Put butter into a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add cheeses and beat well. Sift flour, salt, and cayenne together into another bowl. Using your hands, quickly work flour mixture into butter mixture without overworking the dough. If dough remains crumbly, stir in 2 tbsp. ice water. Gather dough into a ball. Quarter dough, shape each piece into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2–3 hours.
Preheat oven to 450°. Roll out 1 piece of dough on a floured surface to 1⁄16" thickness. Using a 1 1⁄2" round cookie cutter, cut out about 30 rounds and transfer to a parchment paper–lined cookie sheet about 1⁄2" apart. Repeat process with remaining dough.
Bake crackers until puffed and golden, 6–8 minutes. Transfer crackers to a nontoxic paper bag or paper towels to let cool completely. Crackers will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 month.