November 7, 2009

Easy Entertaining: Icebox Crackers

Crackers

Recently I taught a class on hors d'oeuvres at Williams-Sonoma. The Rosemary-Parmesan Icebox Crackers featured in the class were so good and yet so easy that I decided I should share them here.

Rosemary-Parmesan Icebox Crackers
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sel gris or kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¼ cup heavy cream

Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and rosemary in the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Add the cheese and pulse a couple of times to mix. With the motor running, add the cream and process until the dough forms a single mass. Transfer the dough to a work surface and form into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month.

To bake the crackers, preheat your oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log of dough as evenly as possible into 1/8th-inch crackers and place on the baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or so until the crackers are light golden brown. When done, transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack until the crackers are cool to the touch, then transfer the crackers to the rack.

Yields 20-24 crackers. Store in an airtight container 1-2 days. These crackers are best the day they're made, but if you need to make them ahead of time, a few minutes in a 325°F oven will revive them.

These crackers match quite well with Cranberry-Apple Chutney, especially when served with a Delice de Bourgogne and Brut Rosé from Soter Vineyards. There's no better way to start your Thanksgiving entertaining!

13 comments:

  1. These look so good that I think I'll make some up some for the upcoming holidays. So nice that you can make them ahead and freeze. Did you use any other herbs or ingredients for variations?

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  2. I am going to make these for my annual Christmas party ... another delicious addition to my spread!

    Thanks!

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  3. You can certainly use other cheeses or herbs. Cheddar comes to mind, with some cayenne pepper (maybe ¼ teaspoon). Or maybe a mild cheese like asiago with lemon zest (from 2 lemons) and extra (cracked) pepper. For both of those variants you'll need 1 cup of flour.

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  4. Will be making these for family get-together for Thanksgiving-the pre-meal pigout! Thanks for the recipe.

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  5. I wouldn't even think about baking my own savoury crackers. What a great idea. These look delicious and love the idea of being able to prepare these ahead of time.

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  6. Crackers look good enough to make! I'll try them. Would you consider coming to Boquete, Panama and teaching a class in The Boquete Gourmet's kitchen? We have accomodations on site. It's a beautiful town in a magnificant country.

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  7. These look wonderful! We have a family tradition of cheese straws - a similar basic flour, butter and cheese recipe that's pressed out into straw form and baked. This is a much more gourmet incarnation! I'll have to make the old and the new together and see which we like best. :)

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  8. These look great! Homemade crackers are such fun : )

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  9. I've never tried to make crackers. I can't wait to try this recipe. We have a lot of cracker lovers in the family. I love to eat them with tamales, too.

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  10. One of my favorite hors d'oeuvres is homemade crackers, homemade queso blanco, and homemade chili jelly. Thanks for the recipe.

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  11. these sound fantastic, I cannot wait to try!

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