November 7, 2009

Easy Entertaining: Icebox 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!


  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?

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


  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.

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

  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.

  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.

  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. :)

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

  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.

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

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