Winter in New England is very unpredictable. As the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. Planning to attend a post-holiday gathering and bring a savory appetizer, I made the dough for these cheesy, crunchy, speckled crackers. And then there was a snow storm. The party was cancelled so instead, I baked these flaky crackers while the beautiful snow was falling heavily outside. I photographed the crackers just as I would have served them, with grapes and nuts. Fig jam and prosciutto would have been an nice accompaniment as well.
- 1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 scant teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 30 seconds. Add the parmesan cheese, thyme, salt and pepper, and mix on low speed. Add the flour and then mix on low speed until the dough becomes crumbly. Add a teaspoon of water if the dough seems too dry.
Pour the dough out onto a flat surface and press it into a ball. Roll the dough into a nine-inch log. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 4 days. You can freeze the dough and defrost it overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the log into 1/4 inch round slices with a sharp knife and place rounds on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicon (Silpat) pad. Bake the crackers until lightly browned, about 20-22 minutes. Rotate the pan once halfway through the cooking time. Cool and serve. Makes 24 crackers.
Inspiration: Food TV