Monday, December 5, 2011

Parmesan and Cheddar Crackers

Happy December everyone!!  I know that it seems like only last week that I was ranting and raving about people who are obsessed with Christmas and listening to Christmas music WAYY to early, but we are less than 3 weeks from Christmas now, and people, it is officially Christmastime.  My Christmas lights are up, my snowman candle holder lit, and my Santa Claus cookie jar is safely on my counter.  Empty, but not for long.

These crackers, while not cookies, almost made it into Santa Claus's head.  In fact, the only reason they didn't was that they went too fast, and this was a double batch.  I've never made crackers before and so of course believed that they were quite difficult to make.  An assumption that I make more often than I should.  In fact, most of my culinary discoveries follow this route:  I see something commonly bought and assume it's difficult to make, I find a recipe and decide to give it a go, I make it and realize how incredibly simple it is, I then proceed to run around the rest of the weekend going "Ben!  I made crackers!  Ben!  Isn't that awesome?!?"  Needless to say, Ben isn't as impressed by my culinary achievements as much as he used to be.

 But I still am, especially when something common is simple to make, requires very few ingredients and is infinitely adaptable.  I tried these out mostly because the recipe would use up some of the left over half and half I had in the fridge.  I followed the recipe, topped it off with some fresh ground pepper and tried them out of the oven warm.  They were fantastic and required an immediate call to Ben to shout "I made crackers!"  After a lukewarm reception, I decided that if the crackers tasted that good with older, almost stale Parmesan wouldn't they taste fantastic with the block of cheddar-tomato-basil I bought not to long ago?  And a second round was born.

Personally, I enjoyed the Parmesan batch the best.  The cheddar seemed to get lost in the cracker and the tomato-basil flavor was almost entirely absent, much to my disappointment.  A stronger cheese is probably needed in order for the flavor to not get completely lost, as well as some tasty toppings.  My next endeavor in the cracker arena will be to make the Parmesan version again with something more than pepper on top, maybe fresh rosemary or thyme, maybe try out another cheese, maybe even try out another flour.  There is a block of pepper jack left over from the enchiladas and enough half and half for another batch...

Parmesan Crackers
adapted from the smitten kitchen 

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 c. half and half
Toppings: fresh ground pepper, herbs, poppy seeds, etc

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In food processor, combine first 4 ingredients.  Pulse until well combined.  Stream in half and half with processor running until dough forms.  If necessary, add half and half until dough is formed, but not sticky.
Turn dough out onto well floured counter.  With rolling pin, roll out until less than 1/4 inch thick.  Using pizza cutter or pastry wheel or cookie cutter, cut out crackers.  (If using a pizza cutter/pastry wheel, maybe use a ruler or something, if you don't want you crackers to look like a drunk 2 year old cut them).  Using a fork, poke crackers in several places to keep them from puffing in the oven.  Transfer to prepared baking sheet and top with whatever toppings you wish.  Put in oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove and cool on rack.  

I didn't store these in anything, but they barely lasted 2 days.  Otherwise, store in an airtight container!  Enjoy!


  1. Liked it, keep up the good "baking" !

  2. I have never made crackers before either and I am thinking about giving it a try. They do seem pretty easy and there are so many versions that you can make-just like cookies! Could be a different way to spice up a cheese board until I learn how to make my own cheese!

    The Dinner Belle for

  3. The truly are easy and so addictive too!! Good luck with the cheese... you're on your own with that one! ;)


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