Spicy Cheddar Wafers
These Spicy Cheddar Wafers are buttery, cheesy…and delicious! They make a great party appetizer!
Honeycrisp. Northern Spy. Rubyfrost. Jonagold. Apple season has officially begun here in upstate New York. To be honest, I had never heard of most of these varieties before moving here a couple of years ago.
When we lived in Atlanta, my wife and I would occasionally go up into the north Georgia mountains for an apple picking trip, but I guess I never paid much attention to the varieties. Apples are serious business here in NY. In fact, I would guess there are at least 20+ orchards within a 30-minute radius of my house. And I definitely take advantage of the local produce…apples are in steady supply in our kitchen (and in my recipes) for almost the entire Fall.
Few things top the crisp sweetness of freshly picked apples! I’m excited to say that I’ve also found an apple cider that tastes remarkably similar to freshly picked apples. Stella Artois Cidre is made from hand-picked apples, so it makes sense that it should taste like biting into a crisp, juicy apple. This tasty hard cider has found a permanent spot in my fridge…right next to my hoards of apples!
You may remember another Stella Artois Cidre post from about a month or so ago (click here to check it out). On that occasion, I had the opportunity to attend a release party and sample this tasty, new cider. In this post, however, I am sharing one of my favorite cocktail party recipes…and it also happens to pair quite well with the crisp, fresh apple flavors of Cidre.
When I think of crisp, Autumn apples, my mind immediately jumps to the flavors of sharp cheddar cheese. I remember my mother making these Spicy Cheddar Wafers as far back as I can recall. There seemed to be an endless supply of them around the holidays, but I’ve grown quite fond of snacking on them on chilly Autumn days.
The wafers include a bit of cayenne, but I don’t find the spiciness to be overwhelming at all. In fact, the cayenne is more of a “secret ingredient” that makes you want to keep going back for just one more! I find that the sharp bite of cheddar along with the slight spiciness pairs perfectly with a glass of cold Cidre. In fact, I just had this combination last night for a little impromptu happy hour before dinner!
My wife and I recently traveled to Scotland on vacation, and I was surprised to find how popular cider is over there. Every bar offered a couple varieties of hard cider. Heck, even the grocery store sold 12-packs and 2-liters of cider.
We might be a little slow on catching that trend here in America, but I think we’re getting there. Unlike other ciders (most of which are overly sweet in my opinion), I find Stella Artois Cidre to be remarkably balanced. Toss in a handful of these Spicy Cheddar Wafers, and you’ve got the perfect combination to toast the arrival of cooler days. Cheers!
Spicy Cheddar Wafers
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 60 pecan halves
- Add the cheese and butter to the bowl of a countertop mixer with the paddle attached. Cream together on medium speed until well blended.
- Add the flour, salt, and cayenne pepper. Continue mixing on medium speed until dough comes together and is uniformly mixed.
- Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions, and shape each into a log about 1.5" in diameter by 8" long.
- Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours. (Alternatively, you can freeze the wrapped logs for about 45 minutes.)
- Slice each log into 1/4" wafers. Place a pecan half on top of each wafer. Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes, or until wafers turn slightly golden in color.
“It’s Cidre, not cider.”
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Stella Artois via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Stella Artois.
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You are so right, we DO take our apples seriously here in (Upstate) New York! My husband’s family always had apple pie with a side of cheddar cheese as dessert. My family opted for apple pie with chocolate ice cream!
Another favorite food item around here is Apple Cider Donuts! In fact, a friend and I took a rogue trip today to buy 2 dozen donuts to ship to a college-aged friend in Colorado. Imagine, his classmates had never heard of Apple Cider Donuts! Yikes.
This “Cidre” you speak of sounds awesome too. I can’t wait to try some!
Hey SueAnn! I can see apple pie with a side of cheddar…but apple pie with chocolate ice cream? Sounds interesting…I might have to give that one a shot sometime soon! And I LOVE Apple Cider Donuts…they seem to be a New York/New England thing…but they are one of the most delicious treats ever!! I want to try to make some at home soon. 🙂
Dunno where you are in “Upstate New York” –hope it is not that faker Rockland County!!! Here in the Great White North (Washington County–home of Flying Pig; Three Corner Field Farm and the BAttenkill Creamery—whose cows I can hear form my house!) We DO take apples seriously.
Most of those orchards were planted to not only harvest the apples for winter storage and pies; dried apples ; sauce etc–they kept many a family alive here–but for CIDER. Hard cider to be precise. Gather your apples and pears; toss in a few crab or wild apples for extras; press; place in large barrels and then place in barn to FREEZE. What did NOT freeze at the center of the barrels was the concentrated fermented cider! This was then tapped off and used. This could be further fermented and every farm had their own method.
Hard cider is making a comeback—see Granvilles Rathbun’s Orchards for a nice product–and you can go taste it!—and pick there too—and amazing cider donuts—they are right up the road from moi. Other farms and orchards are also making this time honored beverage. For the BEST cider donuts tho you have to go to Eastons BORDENS ORCHARDS—in one family since—well—forever!—and altho you can’t pick your own there they have a wonderful selection of different varieties of apples not just Mac’s–who would even EAT a Mac if they ever TRIED the other kinds! And they also do frozen Cider Slush—mmmmmmm! Leaving now!!!!
IF you ever get to the Saratoga area check out WAGON WHEEL CHEESE SHOP on Rt 29 West of Saratoga heading towards Amsterdam. Looks nothing special but inside—ummmmm! They have BEAR CHEDDAR aged 3 Years and it is seriously the BEST strong without being ammoniac Cheddar EVER. Well with the exception of Montgomerys and that is hard to find this side of the Pond! Worth the trip!
Now–WHAT part of “Upstate” you talkin’ ’bout here????
Hi there Comet,
I am currently in Saratoga county. Hubby is from Washington County.
Rockland is not upstate. 😉 If you ask anyone from Rockland where they are from, they will NEVER tell you the name of the town, nor say upstate, but always “Rockland County.” 🙂
Wow! Thank you SO much for all of the recommendations, Comet. I’ve heard of a couple of those farms, but you mentioned some new ones that I will be putting on my list now! (And that cheese shop sounds absolutely divine…) I’m actually not all that far away from you…I live in southern Saratoga County. Love this area at this time of the year!!
I’m on board with this! My mom made those same cheese wafers—in fact, that became my job at a young age. I was the family cheese wafer maker! Love apples and cheese together (especially love the honey crisp). I like the Stella cider, too—you should try making your own hard cider! My brother-in-law makes it and I was so impressed with how good it was (his is dry and still) that I bought my son the equipment to make it for a Christmas gift. It’s not expensive, and it’s not difficult to make. Once you have your equipment (I think I spent about $100, maybe a little less), you’ll have delicious hard cider for the cost of your Apple cider, yeast and sugar. You control how dry or sweet you want it and you can do bubbles or not. With you being in apple country, it would be so fun to experiment with different varieties and blends.
No way! What a small world, Kim. 🙂 I have fond memories of eating the leftovers of these cheese wafers after my parents hosted cocktail parties. Yum!
Make my own hard cider, eh? I’m listening! We actually have the equipment to make our own wine. We did it a few times, and it was fun…but then Robbie came along. Our time to do projects like that dropped off. But now that’s he’s getting older, maybe I’ll look into cider. I’m not a fan of sweet ciders, but I could certainly go for a good dry cider! Thanks for the idea!