FLAKEY, CHEDDAR CHEESE CRACKERS WITH FRESH THYME
The first beach picnic of the season and the pre-requisite is food that’s easy to transport, and packs great taste. The perfect accompaniment to the Rosé that’s plentiful are discs of buttery homemade cheddar cheese crackers speckled with flecks of fresh thyme. This is a simple savory treat easily gobbled alone, but is also ideal with slices of salami, dried fruit or any other tasty morsel.
Cheese crackers aren’t difficult to make, they just require two main ingredients: butter and flour. This is your base and from there, you can incorporate the cheese and herbs of your choice. I had some sharp cheddar cheese already in my fridge, and then it was a step outside to snip some fresh thyme. Don’t fret if you don’t have fresh herbs, because of course you can use dried, but I would do so sparingly as dried herbs are a bit more potent. Other delicious flavor combos to consider, Manchego and Parsley, Feta and Sage, or Parmesan and Basil. For those who aren’t eating cheese, an idea to consider ramping up on a spice. I like the idea of using poppy seeds and curry powder or smoked paprika and cumin. As with any baking, this recipe works best when you use room temperature butter and thoroughly cream it in the mixer. The last ingredient to be incorporated is the flour and like any dough, you want to see large crumbles before turning it out onto a board.
Once rolled into a log and popped into the fridge for rest, it’s just a matter of slicing and baking. When I slice the dough, I invariably mess up my rounds; but, if your slices aren’t perfect my trick is to take a small-sized biscuit or cookie cutter and cut out perfectly round discs.
This cheesy flakey cracker is like that old chip ad, once you eat on, you won’t be able stop.
Flakey, Cheddar Cheese Crackers with Fresh Thyme
This cracker dough is easy to freeze, so you may want to make a couple different batches and pull out and slice as you have company. The crackers also make a great hostess gift. Yields 15-20 Crackers depending on size.
Cook Time 22 minutes
¼ pound 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. Freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for at least 1- 1 ½ minutes. Slowly add the grated Cheddar, Thyme, salt and pepper, making sure everything is combined well. Slowly add the flour and mix until the mixture resembles large crumbles, 1 – 2 minutes. If the dough seems too dry, add 1 teaspoon of water.
Turn the dough on to a floured board and form a ball. Roll the ball into a log, roughly 8” – 9” inches and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 4 days.
Preheat your oven to 350*. As the oven heats, slice rounds that are 3/8-inch and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake the crackers for 22-minutes or until lightly browned. Rotate the pan at least once during the baking. Cool. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa