Stilton and Walnut Crackers

Stilton & Walnut Crackers
about 24 crackers
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1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
8-ounces Stilton, crumbled, at room temperature (12-ounces with rind)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 extra-large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and Stilton together for 1 minute, until smooth. With the mixer on low, add the flour, salt, and pepper and continue beating for 1 minute until the dough is in large crumbles. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix until the dough comes together.

Dump the dough onto a floured board and roll it into a 12-inch long log. Brush the log completely with the egg wash. Spread the walnuts on a cutting board and roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing lightly, to distribute them evenly on the log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, longer is better or for up to 4 days.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Cut the log into 3/8-inch-thick slices with a small sharp knife and arrange the crackers on the sheet pan. Bake for 22 minutes, until very lightly browned, rotating the pan once during baking. Cool on the pan and serve at room temperature.

Cook's Note: When cutting the log into crackers, don't press on the knife; use it like a saw and let the blade do the work.