I’ve probably made these 100 times already. They’re so delicious, easy to “customize,” and quick to make. They’re great to snack on when you’re in the mood to “munch” but carrot sticks just aren’t cutting it – these are full of protein and fat and (depending on your cheese) zero to few carbs. They’ll satisfy actual hunger, which is always a plus, you know, for FOOD.
So, start with your cheese. You can use cheddar, parmesan, monterey jack, whatever you’d like. I haven’t tried it with mozzarella or provolone yet so I’m not sure how those would turn out, but if you’re in the mood for that, why not give it a try? What’s the worst that could happen?
If you’re planning on mixing in seasonings or spices, grate your cheese. Or get pre-shredded cheese. Either is fine. I’ve used the “mexican shredded blend” before with success.
Otherwise, if you’re doing just plain cheese, you just need to slice it.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and put some parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Did you hear me about the parchment? It must be parchment. Foil won’t work (trust me, I’ve tried), nor will “cooking spray” or any other method… parchment and parchment only. Can I say it again? Parchment.
Now, if you’re using shredded cheese + seasonings, go ahead and toss it all together in a bowl. Cheddar/Jack and Ranch dressing mix is amazing. “Mexican blend” is great with some chili powder and garlic. Parmesan and basil is always nice. Do what feels good to you. Just don’t add salt. Remember, cheese is already PLENTY salty on its own. You do NOT need additional salt.
For shredded cheese, put little lumps of it all over the parchment-lined cookie sheet, spaced out because they WILL “grow” and spread more than you think they will. And when I say “little” lumps, I mean little… about a teaspoon of cheese each.
If you’re using plain cheese, slice it thinly (not paper-thin, but like “sandwich slices” thin) and break or cut it into little squares. About an inch square is good. Again, they will spread out, so place these on the parchment-lined cookie sheet, spaced out like cookies.
Now put it on a rack centered in the middle of your oven, and bake for 5-7 minutes. Then peek. If the edges are starting to brown, you could try taking it out. If you’re not sure, leave it in for another minute or two.
I’ve accidentally forgotten about these in the oven before, and the whole thing turned brown and it was STILL tasty… but if you don’t let it bake enough, it’ll just be stretchy melted cheese, not “crisps.”
When you remove them from the oven, you’ll need to let them cool. If you have the sort of countertop that feels cold, you can just lift the whole piece of parchment off the cookie sheet, and set it on your counter for a few minutes. Or if you don’t, you can use a pancake-flipper thing (what are they really called? not spatulas; those are different) to pick them up and put them on a cool plate.
After a few minutes, they’ll be crisp! And you have a great party snack. Or a lunchbox “side.” Or if you’re like me, possibly dinner.
Tomorrow I’m going to share a really delicious artichoke dip that I made a few days ago. I used baked cheese crisps as my “crackers” to scoop it up and it was to die for!
This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.