Smoky Cheddar Crackers: The Perfect Holiday Appetizer

These crumbly, salty, savory, Smoky Cheddar Crackers are a classic family recipe.

Growing up, I remember these homemade crackers being a staple at every holiday gathering — and me stalking the appetizer table, scarfing down more than my fair share! They’re just sooooo darn good. All the women in my family who’ve made these cheese crackers over the years have put their own unique spin on the recipe, and this is mine!

In this post, I’ll show you how to make smoky cheddar crackers — an easy holiday appetizer that can be made ahead!

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These smoky cheddar crackers make the perfect holiday appetizer for your Thanksgiving table. Also amazing for your Christmas and housewarming party, these cheese crackers are an easy recipe to make ahead by leaving the dough in the freezer until you're ready to bake.

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In this recipe, you’ll be grating a lot of cheese, so I highly recommend this affordable rotary cheese grater that I bought on Amazon. You can grate a whole block of cheese in under 15 seconds!

These smoky cheddar crackers only require a few simple ingredients to make: butter, cheese, flour, salt, pepper, and rosemary.

These cheese crackers come together quickly using just a few simple ingredients. Now, they do use a whole stick of butter and 2 full cups of cheese, so I can’t claim these are health food. But they’re a worthwhile indulgence with a glass of wine at a Christmas party 🙂

They’re also INCREDIBLE paired with my homemade tomato soup. Yum.

Slicing the cheese cracker dough

The best part about these cheese crackers is that you can make the dough ahead of time and store it in the freezer until you’re ready to bake and serve! Just take the dough out of the freezer while you preheat the oven. After 10 minutes on the counter, they’ll be the perfect firmness for slicing cleanly.

You can also customize this recipe with your favorite cheeses and seasonings. Here are a few ideas:

  • Parmesan, fontina, and oregano
  • White cheddar and cayenne pepper
  • Manchego and sage
Cheddar cheese crackers on an olive wood board with a sprig of rosemary

Serve these cheddar cheese crackers on a small olive wood serving board with a sprig of rosemary for beautiful and easy plating.

You could serve these as part of a larger charcuterie tray on a serving board you can DIY yourself. It’s such an easy project and makes for an incredible presentation.

Make these smoky cheddar crackers for your next holiday party!

Smoky Cheddar Crackers

Yield: 40 crackers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 33 minutes

These smoky cheddar crackers are the perfect holiday appetizer. A huge crowd-pleaser, this recipe is easy to customize.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup freshly shredded smoked cheddar
  • 1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 stick of room temperature butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Mix room-temperature butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
Add cheese and beat until combined
Add the remaining ingredients and mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl
Split dough in half and roll each half into a 1" diameter log
Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Slice dough into 1/4" thick discs and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
Bake for 23 minutes
Allow to cool to room temperature for the best texture and flavor
Enjoy!

Notes

These crackers are amazing with a glass of juicy shiraz.
Serve with a side of jam or apple slices for a sweet/savory combo.
Use the best quality cheese you can get your hands on.
Keep one of the dough logs in your freezer for last-minute entertaining!
Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
Make this recipe your own by swapping in your favorite cheese and herbs!

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Want more easy recipes like this? Check out my full collection of simple family favorites.