One of my go-to tricks is to keep some dough for slice-and-bake crackers in the freezer that I can throw in the oven when people are coming for drinks. The sharp Vermont cheddar and spicy chipotle chili powder with crunchy sea salt really wake up everyone's taste buds. My friends can't stop eating these!
Technique tips: I use a 3- to 4-inch paring knife, dipping it in warm water occasionally to make slicing easier. Grate the cheddar on a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the carrot grating disk.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter, cheddar, all of the flour, the chipotle powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Add 1½ tablespoons water and mix on low speed to combine the ingredients. Turn the mixer to medium and beat for 30 seconds, until the ingredients come together in big clumps.2.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured cutting board and roll it into a log 12 inches long by 1½ inches wide. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can refrigerate the dough for several days or freeze it for up to 4 months.)3.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F.4.
Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Slice the dough 1/2 inch thick and place the rounds 1 inch apart on the parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on the sheet pans or a baking rack and serve at room temperature.