While staying with Mr. C’s sister Katie and her husband Rick to attend the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival this year, Katie made these amazing crackers for a function at a local art gallery. But of course, we all had to make certain that the crackers were worthy of such an auspicious gathering, especially since the event was in conjunction with the festival. And oh my goodness. All four of us were absolutely blown away by how delicious they were. (It truly was a miracle that any of the crackers made it to the gallery. But we are all adults and have been known, upon occasion, to show a modicum of restraint when necessary! And this was one of those times when it was necessary. Darn!)
Anyway, this recipe comes from chef Marc Murphy. But instead of calling them crackers, he calls them “My Mother’s Parmesan Cookies”. We all concluded that they were really more of a savory cracker than a cookie, so thus the name change. Katie also thought a bit of black pepper would be a nice additional. Therefore I included the pepper in the recipe, because I wholeheartedly agreed with her conclusion. (Actually, a tiny touch of pepper is wonderful with almost any savory, and a wide array of sweets. I mean really, can you imagine pfeffernusse or strawberries without a dash of pepper in the ingredient list? Not on my watch, I’ll tell you that!)
So whatever you ultimately choose to call these little bites of heaven, cookies or crackers, they are sure to please anyone lucky enough to be in their proximity. But warn your family and friends. Once tried, no one can stop at just one! So he/she who hesitates is lost. Or more aptly put – delay or vacillation could result in unfortunate or disastrous consequences.
For more cracker recipes, search under “Crackers” in the category section.
- 16 T. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 c. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (Don’t even think about using that stuff that comes in a can!)
- a couple twists of finely ground black pepper, opt.
- 1¾ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter, cheese, pepper, and flour together until stiff dough forms. (If your butter is really soft, this should take no time at all.) Roll dough into logs about 1½ inch in diameter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to bake, slice dough into thin slices (about 1/3rd inch thick) and place on lightly buttered, Silpat, or parchment paper lined baking sheet(s)*. (If hard to cut, allow rolls to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then try again.)
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until edges and bottoms are a nice golden brown. Remove crackers from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes on baking sheet(s) before transferring to a wire rack. When completely cooled store in an airtight container.
*If using more than one sheet, shift and rotate the pans half way through the baking process.
Please note: These crackers will stay fresh for a few days, but don’t count on any making it past day 2. At least at our house, homemade crackers have the same chance of longevity, as say, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream!)
Dough can be prepared and rolled into logs the day before and refrigerated until needed.