Cheddar/Jalapeño Puffs

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We LOVE Cheeze-Its at our house-but, as you know, they’re full of processed junk. So, when I found this recipe on Pinterest I was excited (I tweaked just a bit). They’re not as crispy as a Cheeze-It, but they’re darn good! I also made a batch without the jalapeños, as they’re pretty hot for the kids! If you omit the jalapeños-definitely add some water (start with one TBSP but do not exceed two!!)

Ingredients
1/2 lb. fresh jalapeño peppers (I don’t recommend using the ones in a jar)
8 oz block sharp cheddar cheese-use a cheese grater!
4 tbsp (half of a stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes-make sure butter is cold
1/4 tsp salt
A dash of black pepper
About ONE cup of flour

Directions:
* First, you want to broil the jalapeños to blacken them!
* Turn your broiler on high and place peppers on baking sheet
* Place directly under the broiler for a few minutes on each side-until the skin is blackened.
* Remove from oven
* Place your broiled jalapeños in a bowl-cover tightly with plastic wrap.
* Let the jalapeños sit for 10 minutes-this will allow them to steam
* Peel the skins off, And the stems and inner seeds
* Chop into tiny pieces, set aside.
* Mix together the cheddar, butter, salt, pepper, and chopped jalapeños-mix until the butter is completely broken down and the ingredients are evenly distributed
* Add the flour and mix gently (you want it to look crumbly but you want it to pinch together well. If you over-mix the dough your crackers will not be crisp!!!)
* You should not need to add water to the dough, but if the dough is too crumbly, you can add 1-2 TBSP of water (I did not add any water)
* Scrape the dough out into some plastic wrap (form into a flat circle) and refrigerate for two hours until firm.
* Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
* line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
* You will use only half of the dough at a time-keep the other half in the fridge
* On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to about 1/8 to 1/16th of an inch thick.
* Use small cutters to cut out shapes from dough (I used my Pampered Chef little star cutters)-you want your shapes small OR they will not crisp!
* Place on your parchment aligned cookie sheet
* Bake the crackers for about 9-10 minutes until crisp, golden, and puffy
* Allow them to completely cool.
* Repeat the process with the rest of your dough.

I also recommend wearing plastic throw-way gloves to prepare. ENJOY!

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