It’s been weeks after Christmas and we’re still getting gifts like Queso de Bola and fruits. So, I baked these Homemade Cheese Crackers with Queso de Bola since we had such an abundance of cheese. For most Filipinos, it’s not the holidays without slices of Queso de Bola regally placed next to the Baked Ham on the table. This is a large ball of edam cheese and literally in Spanish means ‘cheese ball’. It is a big, round ball, about 10 to 12 inches in diameter, of hard, sharp yellow cheese coated with red paraffin wax to keep it from spoiling. When you cut past the tough coating, the cheese slices are sharp, tart and delightfully dry in texture that are heavenly eaten just like that.
When I was a child at my parents’ home in the Philippines, our holidays were defined by the presence of the Queso de Bola. My parents often received it in gift baskets. I sensed its value and importance by how much my mother raved and got excited as she sliced the cheese and served it to us together with pan de sal (the Filipino bun) and fresh fruit for breakfast or merienda (snacks). In the Philippines, Queso the Bola was an imported product and so it was food we savored only during the holidays.
But today, in my American kitchen, I realized I had a surplus of cheese in all forms. Queso de Bola has always been my favorite because I relish the tart, sharp flavors on homemade sweet ensaimadas (Filipino brioche) and the buttery Taisan cake loaf which I bake during Christmas. This time, I decided we had had enough decadence from the holidays, so baking these savory homemade cheese crackers was a good idea.
The baking process was simple and easy. Even a kitchen novice can bake these cheese crackers with success. But what was wonderful to me was that I had transformed gifts sent to us with love into these magical, bite-sized crisp, and savory cheese crackers which was enjoyed by family and friends. Gifts of love became gifts from the heart. That is what the holidays and a New Year are all about.
Homemade Cheese Crackers with Queso de Bola
- Food processor
- Large baking sheet: 21 inches x 15 inches x 1 inch
- Rolling pin
- 8 ounces finely grated Queso de Bola (Edam cheese) or 2 cups; or sharp cheddar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 Tablespoons 1/2 stick, cut into cubes butter (unsalted)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons ice water
- Combine the grated Queso de Bola (or sharp cheddar), flour, butter, and salt in a food processor. Process for 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture should have a coarse texture like that of sand.
- Pour the ice water into the cheese mixture in the food processor.
- Continue to pulse for 2 minutes or more until the dough becomes smooth and pliable.
- Remove the dough from the food processor. Shape into a round disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet of about 21 x 15 x 1 inches by lining it with parchment paper.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap and lay out on a clean, dry surface of the counter. Sprinkle the surface with a little flour to work the dough.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch in thickness.
- With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into tiny squares about 3/4-inch each. Use the end of a chopstick to poke a hole in the center of each cracker square.
- Place the squares on the baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 15 to 17 minutes.
- When cheese crackers are done, transfer them to another baking sheet and lay them flat, without overlapping. Let the crackers cool before storing.
- Pack in airtight cookie tins or covered containers.
- Cook's comment: If Queso de Bola or edam cheese is not available, use any brand or variety of sharp cheddar. Do not use quick-melt or soft cheeses -- it does not yield good results for this recipe.
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Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]