My Grandmother’s Cheese Wafers

While I’m giving up the family secrets, my mother and sister asked why I didn’t just go ahead and publish my grandmother’s secret cheese wafer recipe. It’s possible they were being sarcastic, but it’s a darn good idea! I’m always looking for more savory baking recipes.

My grandparents, you must understand, were the very soul of gentility. They lived in an elegant country house my grandfather built. He wore a coat to dinner every night of the week in his own home. Their nightly pre-dinner ritual was a dry gin martini. My grandmother called these here favorite martini blotter (“soaker-upper”). I have very fond memories of these. The better the cheese, the better the wafer.

10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces (2 sticks) soft butter
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
About 40 unsalted pecan halves (2 ounces)

Preheat your oven to 325. Grate the cheese. Whisk the flour, salt and cayenne pepper together. Rub the butter into the flour mixture, then knead in the cheese — thoroughly. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls. Place the balls on un-greased cookie sheets. Flatten then with the heel of your hand and place a pecan half on each. Bake 25 minutes. Makes 35- 40.

14 thoughts on “My Grandmother’s Cheese Wafers”

  1. Oh! I love these! Although for me, they’re my stepmother’s cheese crackers. I prefer them with the pecans chopped fine and mixed in, and I like to roll the dough into two 1″-thick logs, chill, and slice. But man, are they ever good!

    1. You’re so right, but I just messed up my first batch. My grandmother would be so ashamed! I didn’t knead the cheese in well enough and they came out splotchy. But tomorrow is another day!

  2. I am a Vegan Chef for 4 couples and I make these all the time and I am successful with Daiya vegan cheddar, they are wonderful

  3. Well done! Better not tell our favorite uncle. He will sue you for giving out the recipe!

  4. I just asked your sis for the recipe as I am having a brunch for my nurse friends. I remember your sis saying this was a super secret recipe and she couldn’t give it out..years ago. Thanks for sharing although I am sure mine will never be a match for yours and Toss’s…Happy Easter and hope to see you soon. Hugs to the kids!

    1. Hey Linda! This was always a top secret recipe in Wayne, Illinois, but I think it’s safe to let the cat out of the bag. Just don’t tell my uncle. Take care and hope to see you soon!

  5. Sure looks like my mother’s recipe-except for the part about making logs and wrapping in wax paper and chilling

    1. Are these things great? I don’t dare make them for fear I’ll eat the whole batch. I leave it to one of my relatives — so I only pig out at their holiday parties!

      – joe

  6. Yummy, I think I just spoiled my husband, how will we ever eat a boxed cracker again.

  7. Though I know family recipes are sacrosanct, I can’t help but recommend this variation. My family used a very similar recipe for our cocktail hour cheese wafers, but with three additions and one omission. We never used pecans, and our recipe included 1/4 tsp paprika (subtle, but good for both flavor and color), 1.5 cups Rice Krispees cereal, and a few dashes of Tabasco. They’re called firecrackers. These days, I’m far too proud to even eat manufactured breakfast cereals as they were intended, let alone use them in recipes. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but these firecrackers get me every time. Joe–if you ever find yourself going through a rebellious phase, give these a shot. I’m in a permanent rebellious phase, so I’ll be trying this version next time I whip up a batch.

    1. Now that’s what I call a creative variation, Joe! I’m going to try that this weekend. These wafers definitely do benefit from some heat, but that extra lightness from the Rice Crispies would be excellent as well.

      Many thanks!


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