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Cheddar Cracker Appetizer Bites
 
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Ingredients

Cheddar Crackers

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash ground red pepper (cayenne)

8 ounces (2 cups) finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Smoked Salmon Topping

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 ounces smoked salmon

2 tablespoons capers

Thinly sliced red onion

Candied Bacon Topping

5 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped

2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

4 ounces goat cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsely

Fresh jalapeño slices

Caprese Topping

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

20 mozzarella cheese pearls

Chopped fresh basil

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Combine flour, butter, salt and cayenne in bowl; beat at medium speed until dough forms. Add cheese; mix until ball forms. Shape dough into disk; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. While dough is refrigerating, prepare toppings below. 

  2. STEP 2

    Heat oven to 350°F.

  3. STEP 3

    Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into 11 1/4x8 3/4-inch rectangle, about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. (It will be hard to roll at first, but will soften. Press together any cracks that form on edges of dough.) Cut dough into 1 1/4-inch squares. Place, 1 inch apart, onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Immediately loosen on pan; let cool on pan. 

  4. STEP 4

    For Smoked Salmon Topping: Combine cream cheese, parsley and lemon juice in medium bowl. Beat until well mixed and fluffy. Top crackers with 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture, smoked salmon, a few capers and thin slice of red onion.

  5. STEP 5

    For Candied Bacon Topping: Cook bacon and brown sugar in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until bacon is cooked and brown sugar is caramelized. Set aside. Combine goat cheese, olive oil and parsley in medium bowl until well combined, light and fluffy. Top crackers with 1 teaspoon goat cheese mixture, a few pieces of candied bacon and 1 slice jalapeño. 

  6. STEP 6

    For Caprese Topping: Heat oven to 425°F. Line 15x10x1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and pepper together in bowl. Spread onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes are softened and roasted. Top cracker with 1 mozzarella cheese pearl, about 2 pieces tomato and sprinkle of chopped basil. 

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