This is about the greatest homemade snack food I can imagine, and takes about 15 minutes to make, start to finish (honestly, despite all the yammering below). I’m not really sure what category they fall into. They’re like small savory biscuits, but lighter and less crumbly. Cheesy cakes? Whatever they are, they’re amazingly tasty, good with beer or soda, and make a fine snack, breakfast side item, or, I admit it, entire dinner. This recipe makes enough for four polite people to snack or for two to be hogs.
special for you: measurements now given in normal / imperial / crazy.
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g all-purpose white flour
2 tsp / 0.32 oz / 9.2 g baking powder
a pinch / pinch / pinch of salt
1/2 tsp / 0.03 oz / 1 g cumin
1/2 tsp / 0.03 oz / 1 g chili powder
1/2 tsp / 0.03 oz / 1 g garlic powder
1/4 tsp / 0.015 oz / .5 g black pepper. (0.015, that's just stupid... it's about 20 grinds from a standard pepper grinder. Or, two healthy pinches. Or, as much as you think will taste good.)
about ten long stems fresh chives, or to taste, finely chopped.
2 cups / 4 oz / 225 g grated or shredded cheddar, jack, or any firm cheese with a strong flavor (no need to be terribly precise, but you want about twice as much cheese as flour, by volume)
1/2 cup / 4 1/3 oz /125 ml milk
Combine all the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, spices - in a large bowl, and mix them thoroughly. Add in the cheese and chives. Beat the egg and milk together separately, then add them into the cheesy stuff. Combine well. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 F (200 C) for about 10 minutes, until tops are browned. Let cool on a rack for a few minutes.
I say “firm cheese” above, but I don’t really know if that’s a thing. I just mean the recipe is not likely to work if you use only hard cheese (parmesan) or soft cheese (brie). You could certainly try different combinations, including small amounts of either hard or soft. I usually use a mixture of sharp cheddar and jack. I imagine pepper jack would be good.
The spices and additions will tolerate quite a bit of tweaking and experimentation. The combination above is really, really good, but if you don’t have cumin in the house, don’t sweat it. I have not tried including red pepper, chiles, rosemary, sage, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, or green onions, but I bet they would work out great.
Little ones (dropped by teaspoonfuls) turn out crunchier. Medium to big ones (1-2 tablespoonfuls) turn out chewier. Just don’t make them as big as muffins or you risk the centers not getting cooked. They spread only a little as they cook, so you can fit quite a few on one baking sheet.
You can use egg substitute, soy milk, or reconstituted powdered milk in this recipe. The flavors of the cheeses and spices will dominate anyway. But for christ’s sake don’t use soy cheese, because gross.
I use parchment paper because it rules and because I am hesitant to add any more oil to these things. They don’t end up particularly greasy, but they’re more than half cheese, so I don’t want to push it. If you have no parchment, a silpat will work, or a cookie sheet sprayed lightly with oil.
These are best eaten soon after they’re cooked, but will stay good for at least several hours and even until the next morning, if you’re not totally picky - they do get a little oilier by that point. Store in a covered thing.
You will know they are done cooking when they turn golden brown and make your house smell like pure awesome. As always, please let me know if you try these.