(Mixing in food processor is definitely a plus!. Grate cheese finely, remove it, add other ingredients, mix, then add cheese back in. Mix until it forms a big, pastry-like ball.)

pound grated cheddar (preferably Kraft's extra sharp)

1 stick softened butter

1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

teaspoon salt

red cayenne pepper (to taste)

Mix butter, flour, salt and pepper as if making pie crust dough. Then, mix in grated cheese.

Form balls, about the size of a walnut. Chill the balls in the freezer about two hours (or store in the freezer until use.)

Place frozen balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven (450F.) for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully. Some ovens may need to be set as low as 400F.




A slightly different version--


To make about 3 dozen

8 tablespoons butter (1 quarter-pound stick), softened

pound Cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

cup sifted flour

teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

teaspoon powdered mustard

Cream the butter by beating it against the sides of a bowl with a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy. Then beat in the cheese. Still beating, add the flour, cup at a time, then the salt, cayenne and mustard. (The entire process may be done more easily in an electric mixer equipped with a pastry-arm attachment.) In either case, the mixture should be dense enough to be formed into a compact ball. If it is too soft to hold together, beat in additional flour by the tablespoonful, testing the dough for density after each addition.

On a lightly floured surface, shape the ball into a sausage-like roll about 10 inches long and 1-inches wide, wrap it in wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour, until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

With a sharp, thin knife, carefully slice the chilled dough into -inch rounds and arrange them -inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pennies are firm and golden brown. Watch carefully; they burn easily. Transfer them with a metal spatula to a rack to cool.

The cheese pennies may be served at once at room temperature, or stored in freezer.

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