ZESTY CHEDDAR WAFERS
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, at room temperature *
3/4 cup almond flour (about 3 ounces)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt or other seasoning
1 pinch or up to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional

Cut the cheddar cheese into small pieces. Put all of the ingredients in a food processor with the chopping blade in place. Process a minute or two until the mixture looks like Play-Doh that is just starting to dry out. It will look slightly crumbly, but if you can take a piece and roll it into a smooth ball with your hands, it's ready. Dump the dough out onto a large cutting board or work surface. Gather it up with your hands to make a smooth ball of dough that looks like orange Play-Doh. Divide the ball evenly in half, then divided each half in half again and so on until you have 16 pieces of dough.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Take each piece of dough and break it into three even little pieces of dough and place on baking sheets 6 across and 4 down. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place back on sheet. Cover the balls with plastic wrap (you can use a small piece and move it around as needed) and take a baking powder can, that has about an 1/8" rim around the bottom, and press down firmly over each ball of dough. Be sure to press all the way down to the baking sheet. Peel off the plastic wrap and repeat until all the wafers have been shaped.

Bake at 300 about 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned, checking frequently after 15 minutes. If it seems like they've been in the oven long enough, yet are not very browned, they should at least feel crisp and hard when you tap them with your fingernail. If there is any give in the center, they are not done yet unless they are browned (see my comments below). Carefully remove them from baking sheet and cool completely on a rack. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Makes 48 wafers
Can be frozen

* Pre-shredded cheese will not work in this recipe. Also, make sure that your cheese is not cold at all before making the dough.

Per 4 Wafers: 117 Calories; 10g Fat; 6g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carb
Per 8 Wafers: 235 Calories; 20g Fat; 13g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1.5g Dietary Fiber; 1.5g Net Carbs

These started out as an experiment in adapting a cheese straw recipe to make it low carb. The original recipe called for flour and butter, so I substituted Carbalose flour and almond flour for the all-purpose flour. They were good, but spread too much to call them Cheese Straws. They were also quite greasy from the butter, cheese and almond flour. I decided to try leaving out the butter as well as the Carbalose flour and use all almond flour. I thought the taste of the Carbalose was a little too strong and I wanted to simplify the recipe as much as possible.

Although these are still a little greasy, they are wonderful little crackers about the size of vanilla wafers but much thinner. They are light and flaky. They seem delicate, but they're sturdy enough to dip or to spread peanut butter between two of them. What's great is that you can use any kind of seasonings that you like. I made one batch with 1/2 teaspoon of my Spicy Seasoning Salt and 1/8 teaspoon regular salt. You can taste the dough after you've started to process it and see if you need to add more seasoning or salt, which is nice.

One interesting thing that I noticed is that these bake faster on a silicone liner than on parchment paper, so take that into consideration when you set your timer. The ones I baked on the parchment paper lined pan didn't seem to get very brown. You can tell they are done when they feel hard and crisp all over. If yours have a nice color, they should be done. Don't over bake them just to get the centers crisp. If yours are getting very brown on the edges before the centers are firm, you may need to turn down your oven a bit.

UPDATE 3/17/11: I've decided that I like these best with just 1/2 teaspoon of plain salt and no other seasoning. They taste just like Cheez-it crackers but better. I tweaked the baking time a little because they seemed to be done closer to 15 minutes than 20. You can always add more time, if needed. I used extra sharp cheddar this time too and that made them really good.


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