Drum roll please!  I bring to you, Christmas Cookie #12 (Oh yes I did!!!) – hot, spicy, decadent, savory. So this should come as no surprise! You know I like it hot! Bacon, chillies and cheese or chillies, cheese and bacon, no matter how you say it, it conjures up lip smacking memories (for me anyway). I did a basic cheese cracker (cheeselet) last year, but this is different. And, since I introduced the 2014, 12 Cookies of Christmas series with the sweet/salty taste of Maple Bacon Shortbread, I thought I should end it with a Spicy Bacon and Cheddar Cracker (cheeselets). Actually, my son came home this weekend, saw me baking something and asked if I had baked the cheeselets yet – that was after he greeted and hugged us of course. Otherwise, “no cheeselets for him!” So I came up with this variation. Really, this is a Christmas staple in our house.

I took my basic Spicy Cheddar cracker recipe and modified it – coz you know I like to do this. I sliced the bacon thinly and fried it crisp with some sliced prosciutto. Drained it well, but reserved the bacon oil (okay fat) to add to my dough. I used a combination of Asiago and Old Cheddar. Everything went into the food processor and got pulsed until the dough just started to come together. For the heat, I used 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper and 3 habanero chillies. For those who attend my “What’s for Dinner” classes at the PC Cooking School, you have had this without the bacon and the habaneros. The addition of the bacon fat, the habaneros and the 2 types of cheese just take this to another level. I formed the crackers using the roll and cut method as well as the cookie log method – wrapped in parchment and chilled in the fridge for about 30 minutes. I like the variety. You must try this – cut back on the heat if you have to, but once you make it with a habanero, there is no turning back. Make these and, as always – enjoy!

From me and mine to you and yours – a very Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and a safe and happy New Year!

12 level tbsp. or 94 grams or 3.4 oz. of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. crushed red chilli flakes
6 oz. old cheddar – or a mixture of cheese to make 6 oz. – I will not tell if you add more 🙂
6 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. heavy cream
3 habaneros
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
6 slices of bacon, thinly sliced and fried crisp – 4 tablespoons of bacon fat reserved
6 slices of prosciutto, thinly chopped

Preheat the oven to 400F, line a cookie sheet with parchment
Slice up the bacon and prosciutto and over medium heat, fry until crisp – drain, reserving the fat
Put all the contents except the cream, bacon and prosciutto into a food processor
Break up the cheddar into smaller pieces to make the mixing easier on the motor
Pulse a few times until all is mixed, slowly add the cream and 4 tbsp of bacon fat, until a dough starts to form
When the dough starts to form, remove it from the processor and add it to the fried bacon/prosciutto and mix to incorporate
On a lightly floured surface, add half the dough
Roll to 1/4″ thickness – using cutters, cut shapes, gather and re-roll scraps and continue cutting shapes out of the dough or
Roll into a 1″ diameter log, wrap in parchment and refrigerate for 30 minutes, remove and slice about 1/4″ thick
Bake for 10 minutes (convection oven) – crackers will harden as they sit outside

Spicy Cheeselets 2F

Spicy Cheeselets 4