These Cheesy Owl Crackers are a hit every time I make them. It is easier than you would think and a fun project to do with kids. The savory cracker base is made with cheesy dough and the decorations can’t get any simpler – sliced olives for eyes, carrots or bell peppers for the beak, and sesame seeds for the tiny feathers. A delicious and fun way to add some fall flair to any celebration.
This is a fun project we do almost every fall. It is a great addition to Halloween fun or to Thanksgiving gettogethers. The dough can be made in advance and make it just in time to eat.
There are two parts to this recipe – the base and the decorations.
I used cheesy pastry dough, but puff pastry dough or pie crust will work too. If using puff pastry dough make sure that you prick enough holes in it so it does not puff up and ruin the shape.
Making the cheesy pastry dough
This dough does not require any special equipment but a food processor makes it even easier. As for most pastry dough, it is better to have all ingredients cold.
Cut the cold butter into ½ inch cubes. Add the flour, salt, and butter into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or 2 forks cut the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. If using a food processor add the flour, salt, and butter to the bowl and pulse a few times to get the same results.
Add the cheese and stir well. Sprinkle a little ice-cold water on top and mix using a spatula. The flour will start to clump together. Sprinkle a little more water and repeat the process until all the flour forms into clumps. Press it together into a ball. Cover with a plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Making the owls
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the dough from the fridge. Liberally dust the work surface and roll out the dough into a 1/4″ thick circle. Cut out circles 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Transfer the discs to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Pinch out ears as shown in the picture. Place 2 slices of black olives for the eyes and small triangles of carrots for the nose. Sprinkle some sesame seed for the feather. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and the cheese begins to brown a little. Remove from the oven. Cool in pan for a couple of minutes and serve!
The cracker dough can be made and chilled for up to 3 days in advance. You could even cut out the circles and freeze as well. If freezing then take it out and leave on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes to make it easy to pinch the ears.
These are best consumed on the same day.
Cheesy Owl Crackers
- 2 C Flour (240g)
- 1/2 C Butter (110g)
- 1/4 C Water (50g)
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 11/2 C Grated Cheddar
- 1/4 C Sliced Olives
- 1 Carrot
- 1 – 2 Tbsp Cumin/Sesame Seeds
- In a blender or a food processor take the flour and salt. Cut the cold butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the blender. Pulse a few times till the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Dump the mix into a mixing bowl and add the freshly grated cheese. Mix using a spatula. Sprinkle a little of the ice-cold water over the mix and gently mix using the spatula. The mix should start sticking together. Sprinkle just enough water to bring all the flour together. Form into a ball, flatten to a thick disc, cover with a plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and leave it on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut small triangles from the carrot for the noses. Flour a rolling board generously and roll the dough out into a disc about 1/4" thick. Cut circles out from the rolled-out pastry dough. Pinch 2 ears about 1" apart on the circles. Place the discs on the cookie sheet. Arrange black olives for the eyes, carrot for the nose, and sprinkle the sesame seeds for the tiny feathers.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry looks golden and cheese bits begin to brown. Remove and cool in pan for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Serve the same day.
Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.