HOLIDAY CHEDDAR SHORTBREAD

Every year, I make my mom’s recipe for cheddar shortbread for Thanksgiving. It’s one of my traditional appetizers for the holiday, but it makes a great appetizer or snack for fall or holiday parties. 

By using fun bite-sized cookie cutters, these crackers look gourmet without much work at all. I get so many compliments on these every year because they look fancy and they’re full of rich cheesy, spicy flavor. 

These are really easy to make too. You just put the dough together, pat and roll it down, cut the shapes out of whatever type of cookie cutters you have, and bake for a few minutes.

These can be made in less than an hour from start to finish, including putting them on a plate with a fancy cheese ball if you desire. This recipe makes a full plate of crackers, as shown. I’ve never counted how many crackers I get, but it yields enough for a decent size tray to bring to a party. This could easily be doubled if you wanted more.

HOLIDAY CHEDDAR SHORTBREAD

HOLIDAY CHEDDAR SHORTBREAD 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (8 oz. pkg.) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. dry mustard (this year I used 1 full tsp. for some more flavor)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (omit if you do not want some spice)
  • 1/2 C. (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. 
  2. Mix together cheese, flour, mustard, cayenne, salt. Mix in melted butter, working mixture with your hands. Add a tablespoon of water if needed if dough feels too dry and crumbly. Dough will be crumbly, though. 
  3. On a floured surface, roll half of dough to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out with leaf or other shape cookie cutter.
  4. Repeat with other half of dough. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. 
  5. Cool on wire rack before arranging on plate. Best served with a cheese ball or other cheese spread.

These crackers are so cheesy, buttery and delicious. The addition of the mustard and cayenne gives them a slight kick of spice, but not in a “OMG too spicy” way at all.

If you truly dislike spice, omit the cayenne, but don’t leave out the dry mustard. That really makes the cheese flavor in these pop. Sharp cheddar is an absolute must too for that distinct cheese flavor. Another cheese would be fun to try, like pepper jack or Parmesan, though. 

If you like Cheez-Its, I promise you will love these. I personally think these are way better than Cheez-Its too, and I’m a big Cheez-Its fan. Any cheese or cracker lover will gobble these right up. They certainly didn’t last long at Thanksgiving this year. 

Questions for You: 

  • Do you have any appetizers you make year after year for the holidays? 
  • Cheese fan or no?

Best BBQ Grill Smoker Combo For Every Budget

Whenever you want to enjoy some good times outdoors with friends, then a BBQ sounds right. A nice BBQ is great to spend time with family enjoying some of the best meals. That being said, you might not be so sure about which grills are the best to buy right now. Do not let that worry you as we are here to learn about some of the best BBQ grill smoker combo to buy right now. Being a smoker and grill eliminates the need for having two separate units. Let us look at what options we have on the market.

Traeger Grill TFB65LZBC Texas Elite 34 Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

The unit uses wood pellets as a source of fuel to grill or smoke your meals. With wood pellets, you never have to worry about the mess that comes with charcoal or the expense of using gas for grilling. Also, the food will generally taste better as compared to using the other sources of fuel. Make sure that you use the recommended wood pellet grills by the manufacturer to end up with delicious meals.

Users find the unit being versatile when it comes to cooking. This is because of the many modes you can choose from when you want to cook. These modes include hot and fast, low and slow, roasting, braise, bake, and much more. With such versatility, it should be easy to cook different types of foods for your family and guests.

The model on overall offers the user the best temperature control. This is thanks to having a precision digital controller for the temperature. It can maintain a temperature of 25 degrees within the desired temperature range. Such control should be great for grilling.

Pros

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Precision temperature control
  • Impressive cooking capacity

Cons

  • Heavy making mobility hard

Camp Chef Woodwind Classic Pellet Grill with Sear Box

For those who might be looking to host a party, then this should be a nice consideration. With its smart smoke technology, the model is able to maintain the smoke delivery for the best cooking. Also, the automatic auger will keep feeding the pellets into the grill. The result is that you can now have consistent heat in the smoker grill without checking on it all the time.

Many should find the model having the best versatility. This is because it has several modes such as grilling, baking, smoking, braise, and barbecue. With its capability of temperatures ranging from 160 degrees to 500 degrees F, it should allow you to cook whatever you want.

To make it even better, this model comes with a huge cooking area of 570 square inches. Since the upper warming rack is also removable, it can be removed to create more room for cooking. As a result, it can hold enough food to feed your neighborhood.

Pros

  • Impressive versatility
  • Great patented ash cleanout system
  • Smart smoke technology

Cons

  • The high temperatures can lead to burns if not careful

Pit Boss 71220 Kamado BBQ Ceramic Grill Cooker, 22”

This one has a unique design as compared to the other two mentioned above. The model features a ceramic body, which should be ideal for charcoal use. With the ceramic material, the cooker will not lose a lot of energy.

It also comes with a cast iron top tamper. This will give you full control over the overall airflow. You can now set the cooking temperature just as you want.

The solid bamboo side shelves are also sturdy enough to provide the best durability. You can use them to hold your food before or after grilling. They also fold away for ease of storage. Having the dual-tier cooking grates provides you with more space for cooking. You should also love it for its mobility thanks to having caster wheels.

Pros

  • Bamboo side shelves provide more space
  • It offers even cooking heat throughout the grill
  • Great for burning charcoal

Cons

  • Ceramic construction is not as durable as steel

Conclusion

If you are always looking to have a good time enjoying outdoor meals, then the above models will help you achieve just that. We have reviewed the top models with all the essential features you might want in the best BBQ grill smoker combo. Whichever you pick, you can be sure to end up with a great unit.