One simple shot on the social media’s, and I’m being asked to publish Hamlin’s Southern Kitchen.
Well, kids, let’s just say this blog ain’t called, “Dad, what’s for supper?” for nothing
I have been known to crank out a cheese straw or ten thousand using my great grandmama’s receipt and an Italian cookie press much to the chagrin of my carpel tunnel.
Being invited over to a lady’s house for early drinks, I knew that I couldn’t show up empty handed. That’s just not nice manners. And, certainly, not very Southern
My mother never conquered her grandmama’s cheese straw receipt but it’s conquered me. It hurts to make them. So, what’s a nice Southern cook to do? Turn to a beloved alternative: Cheese Wafers with Pecans
My mama certainly did conquer Cheese Wafers with Pecans, which she often made for parties, teas, to serve before suppers with drinks. I have her version, which I think came from an older Beaufort cookbook. In her notes she wrote, “wrap log in wax paper and put in fridge overnight – makes slicing easy”. All will be explained below in a few seconds. Keep reading
These really are easy and good. This is my version of Cheese Wafers with Pecans adapted from my mother’s version. Remember, wrap in paper and put in fridge overnight. Makes slicing easy.
The pecan nuttiness comes out in the baking and merges perfectly with the fat from the butter and cheese and the salt and cayenne. Flour plays only a minimal supporting roll here.
Some versions say to make an egg wash for the pecans and wafers. That’s just crazy talk. Why mess with perfection?
And, the beautiful thing about these wafers, you most likely have almost all of the ingredients on hand at any given moment.
Cheese Wafers with Pecans
4 oz. (half a block) of Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheese (makes 1 cup grated)
1 stick of butter – I use salted
1 cup of flour
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper – more is more
1 tsp salt
A whole bag of pecan halves – you’ll need probably three dozen nut meats. And, yes, I just said “nut meats” because I’m secretly 115 years old
Place cheese, butter, flour, salt, cayenne into the bowl of a food processor and process until a dough ball forms. You’ll know when that happens.
Turn out the dough onto a cutting board, work surface, marble slab, impeccably clean counter tops and divide into two pieces
Roll both pieces into logs about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Wrap logs in wax paper or parchment paper and place in fridge for at least two hours or overnight. Don’t skip this step
Preheat oven to 350
Slice logs into 1/4 inch rounds and place on parchment lined baking sheet or sheets. I can do them on one but for your first tries use two baking sheets and cook two batches.
Place a pecan half on each wafer
Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp. Don’t over bake them as, to quote my late Great Aunt Marion from Savannah, overbaked and they’ll be bitter as gall
Let cool on a wire rack and put in a tin. They keep up to a week, but they won’t last that long
You can double, triple, quadruple this easily
No cookie press required
Serve with your favorite beverage
They go fast because, after all, Sir, they are wafer thin