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Cheddar-Cayenne Coins

Yield: Yields about 4 dozen 1-1/2-inch coins.

These are fairly spicy, so use the smaller amount of cayenne if you want a milder kick. Pecans or pine nuts would work in place of the walnuts.


  • 6 oz. (1-1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz. (about 1-1/4 cups) finely shredded sharp Cheddar (or half Cheddar and half Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1-1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) medium finely chopped walnuts
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per coin
  • Calories (kcal) : 45
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 30
  • Fat (g): 3
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 60
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 1


  • Combine the flour, cheese, salt, and cayenne in a food processor. Process until just blended. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Stir the yolk and water together with a fork and drizzle over the mixture. Pulse until the dough begins to form small moist crumbs. Add the chopped nuts and pulse briefly until the crumbs begin to come together.
  • Pile the moist crumbs on an unfloured work surface. With the heel of your hand, push and gently smear the crumbs away from you until they start to come together in a cohesive dough. Using a pastry scraper or a metal spatula, lift up one edge of the dough and fold it into the center (the dough will still be rough, so don’t expect a neat, smooth fold). Repeat with the opposite edge, like folding a letter. Turn the dough 45 degrees. Give the dough another smearing and shape it into a 14-inch log that’s 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours, or up to two days.

  • Heat the oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut the log into scant 1/4-inch slices. Arrange about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared sheets. Bake until medium to deep golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets as needed for even baking. If you like, sprinkle the crackers with a little kosher salt just as the baking sheets come out of the oven. Set the sheets on racks to cool. When the coins are completely cool, store them in an airtight container.

Make Ahead Tips

The rolled log of dough may be frozen for up to a month and then thawed for about an hour on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight. Or bake the coins ahead, wrap short stacks in plastic, pack the stacks in plastic containers, and stash them in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature (or put the frozen coins right in the oven) and warm them for a few minutes at 325°F to refresh them.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • SitrucL | 10/11/2013

    These are a hit with everyone who tries them! I have to bake a batch now every time we see my mom ( since she won't make them herself for a lack of a food processor that makes it so easy). I try to have a roll ready in the freezer to bake up when I need to bring an appetizer somewhere. Yummy with wine!

  • rvanp | 10/11/2012

    These are so tasty... after baking they will store great in a well sealed container. In fact I almost like them better 3 or 4 days later. Another bonus is they are very quick and super easy to make. Regarding the cayenne, I used the full measurement and did not find them too spicy at all, just the right amount of kick to make them interesting and really nice with a well chilled glass of pinot grigio. I might try rolling the log in a few sesame seeds before slicing and baking.

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