Friday, December 17, 2010

Parmesan Cheese CRACK(ers)

Ya'll might remember me raving about the wonders of cheese straws (mouse your way back to it, totally worth a whirl). Remember now?

Were you the one that ate half of the platter when I took them to a friend's birthday?

They go fast. I have warned you! To make up for it, they are just as fast to make. We all win.

Even before Cheese crackers are baked, the dough smells heavenly and yes it is worth nibbling on. Go ahead, just see for yourself. When they are baking - you will get the munchies - no drugs required.

Baked cheese.....


As with so many easy and simple Mark Bittman recipes, crackers require a few simple ingredients that you will most likely have in your kitchen. The crackers in this post require the same ingredients the presentation is slightly different, they are rolled then cut into little squares as opposed to long "straws."

I use whatever cheese we have on hand, even a combination. The most ideal is sharp white cheddar, but really, I live in a conservative rural area, most people think cheddar should be yellow/orange and I don't think I could find white cheddar at the store. White cheddar seems purely aesthetic for this recipe (well I am sure it probably tastes a little better). If using white cheddar, the final product won't be speckled with yellow flecks of cheese. It is ok. I have used anything from pepper jack, Parmesan and sharp cheddar and a combination of all. What ever is fine, use your imagination and discretion. 

I utilize the milk product on hand as well. I recommend at least half and half, this batched I splurged for cream. The final product was far superior using cream. Splurge! Cream it is!

See Jonny is turning 90. Not many people turn 90. We should all be working on it. Jonny works on it. She still lives on her own in a rural Tennessee (she probably couldn't find white cheddar either so it is ok), oh yeah - she still has a horse she looks after.

Jonny is J's Grandma. I heard that she once skated through the house on her roller skates just to turn some heads. She still pulls tricks out of her bag to get attention. Jonny lets us stay at her house for as long as we want. She also has made the best cornbread I have ever ate. I still crave it from time to time but never seem to come across a recipe.

When J and I were trying to figure out a few shippable treats for his dear Grandma Jonny, cheese straws were the first thing that popped into my head. She likes to snack on crackers, so do we. I made a double batch one afternoon and we skipped dinner that night. CRACK(ers). You know what happened there!

They are best the first day but I know once they get there they won't last long.

Oh Nibble NIBBLE!

I had to make cute little crackers for a cute little lady!
Jonny with two of her grandkids, JMS and CBS Thanksgiving 2010



Parmesan Cream Crackers
Adapted from Mark Bittman



Rolling the dough 1/4-inch thick, yields 30 1 1/2-inch square cookies that shrank slightly and puffed to 3/8-inch thick

1 cup all-purpose flour, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half, more as needed
Coarse salt, pepper, or whatever you like for sprinkling (optional).

Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly dust with flour. Put flour, salt, cheese and butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until flour and butter are combined. Add about 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half and let machine run for a bit until a dough forms. If it does not come together, add more liquid a teaspoon at a time, until mixture holds together but is not sticky.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/4-inch thick or even thinner, adding flour as needed. From here, you can either form them into individual crackers (I went for 1 1/2-inch squares cut with a fluted pastry wheel) and bake them an inch apart on your baking sheet (the method I used) or transfer the entire rolled-out sheet to your baking sheet (draping it over the rolling pin will make it easier) and score them lightly with a knife, pizza or pastry wheel to break into crackers after they are baked. For either method, dock all over with a fork and sprinkle with salt or any other toppings you are using.

Bake until moderately browned, about 12 minutes. Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature or store in a tin for a few days.

This post is shared at:

Tackling Bittman Blog Hop

Girlchef
girlichef: Book Review & GIVEAWAY: The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman in conjunction with Tackling Bittman!

3 comments:

  1. Okay woman. You're killing me today. These are going on my "to-make" list, too! Oi. I'm not gonna show the kids this page...otherwise they'll never stop the yipping until I make them ;) Awesome, thanks for sharing them with Tackling Bittmann this month!! :D

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  2. Congratulations on your awesome crackers and winning this months Tackling Bittmann. The crackers look great and I want to try them. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. I have baked cheese crackers this month too. Yours look sososo yummy, I really need to try your recipe.

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