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Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers

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Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers are a delicious and savory snack that combines the sharpness of cheddar cheese with the rich, buttery flavor of pecans. These wafers are perfect for parties, holiday gatherings, or simply as a delightful snack. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers, provide helpful cooking notes, and offer variations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 60 pecan halves

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mix Butter and Worcestershire Sauce:
    • In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and Worcestershire sauce together until creamy.
  3. Add Dry Ingredients:
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and freshly ground black pepper.
    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until combined.
  4. Add Cheese:
    • Fold in the grated sharp cheddar cheese until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Step 2: Shape the Wafers

  1. Form the Dough:
    • Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
  2. Press with Pecans:
    • Place the dough balls onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
    • Press a pecan half onto the top of each dough ball, flattening it slightly.

Step 3: Bake the Wafers

  1. Bake:
    • Bake the wafers in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
  2. Cool:
    • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the wafers to cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Serve:
    • Serve the Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers at room temperature as a savory snack or appetizer. They pair well with a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail.

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Cheese: Use freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese for the best flavor and texture. Pre-shredded cheese often contains additives that can affect the texture of the wafers.
  • Pecans: Toast the pecan halves lightly before using them to enhance their flavor.

Variations:

  • Spicy Cheese Wafers:
    • Increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicier version.
  • Herbed Cheese Wafers:
    • Add 1-2 teaspoons of dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or oregano to the dough for added flavor.
  • Nut-Free Version:
    • Omit the pecans or replace them with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free alternative.
  • Different Cheese:
    • Experiment with different types of cheese, such as Gruyère or Parmesan, for a unique twist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. Let it come to room temperature before shaping and baking.

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2. How do I store the cheese wafers?

Store the cheese wafers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

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3. Can I use a food processor to mix the dough?

Yes, you can use a food processor to mix the dough. Pulse the butter and Worcestershire sauce until creamy, then add the dry ingredients and cheese, pulsing until combined.

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4. What can I serve with Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers?

These wafers are perfect on their own but also pair well with fruit preserves, chutney, or a cheese board.

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5. Can I make smaller or larger wafers?

Yes, you can adjust the size of the wafers to your preference. Just be sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.

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Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers are a savory and nutty snack that’s perfect for any occasion. With their sharp cheddar flavor and buttery pecan topping, these wafers are sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Whether you’re serving them at a party or enjoying them as a snack, this recipe is easy to follow and full of delicious flavors. Give these Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers a try and enjoy a delightful and savory treat. Happy baking!