My father was born and raised in India and then headed to Germany in the 1960s where he studied engineering, worked, and traveled for almost 10 years before moving to Canada. Daddy is fluent in German and Dutch, so when I was a small child in Canada, we had so many close German-speaking friends that I thought all Indians ate liverwurst and schnitzel. I grew up thinking my full name was ‘Ina-lein’ and learned how to make German staples like spaetzle from scratch.
One of our family’s closest and dearest friends is Leni. She is a beautiful German lady married to a handsome Goan man named Clement. They are marvelous and we look forward to seeing them every time we visit Canada. Leni makes a tea time snack called Spicy Cheese Crisps from a Canadian cookbook called Company’s Coming Appetizers. These crackers can be paired with anything, whether it’s an elegant accompaniment to a glass of robust red wine or nestled alongside a bowl of hot soup. Make a batch of these and you can entertain anyone at a moment’s notice. Leni combines grated aged cheddar, butter, cayenne pepper, and rice krispies with all-purpose flour. They are true crisps that make a satisfying ‘snap’ when you crunch into them and keep for a while in an air-tight container. I asked Leni if we could share her recipe and she was more than happy to oblige!
Leni’s Spicy Cheese Crisps
Makes 4 dozen
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup grated shredded aged cheddar cheese (I bought pre-shredded sharp cheddar)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup crisp rice cereal (I used Special K cereal)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cream butter and cheese together well. Mix in flour, salt and cayenne pepper. Cayenne may be increased if desired.
- Add rice cereal and work into the batter. Roll into small 1/2 inch balls by forming each in the palm of your hand and arrange on ungreased baking sheet (I’ve recently discovered Reynolds carries an aluminum foil that has a non-stick side — genius).
- Press down on each ball firmly with a fork to flatten.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned — I ended up leaving the second batch in for the full 15 minutes to really crisp up nicely, but it depends on what your oven is like. Remove to cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Recipe from Company’s Coming Appetizers