Jun 10, 2009


A lovely and generous friend shared some of the abundant harvest from her herb garden with me this week. It’s a huge bouquet of every herb under the sun – cilantro, sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, and on, and on…

I find myself opening the bag and sniffing at the contents a few times a day… the combined fragrance of all those herbs is intoxicating!

To use up some of my booty, and as a thank you for my sweet friend, I decided to make some savory shortbread “crackers” to share with her. I know she likes to relax with a glass of wine after work and these will make the perfect cocktail snack.

Before & After

I started with Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa recipe (below) for Parmesan & Thyme Crackers and it was so easy I decided to mix up a variation with blue cheese and rosemary. I can’t decide which one I like better…

Barefoot Contessa’s Parmesan Thyme Crackers
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces grated Parmesan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until creamy. Add the Parmesan, flour, salt, thyme and pepper and combine.

Dump the dough on a lightly floured board and roll into a 13-inch long log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake for 22 minutes.

I had to add a few drops of water to my dough to get it to pull together and if you don’t have a Kitchen Aid mixer you’re going to get quite an arm work out - this dough is heavy.

I used a very mild blue cheese and had to use about 10 oz. (one large container of crumbles from the grocery store) to get a nice, balanced flavor and I sprinkled a few walnut pieces over the uncooked rounds, and gently pressed them in, to add another layer of flavor and texture.

This are so, so easy and take no time at all to prepare so mix up an extra batch and leave a roll in the freezer. A few minutes before your guests show up just turn on the oven, slice a few & bake!


Lisa said...

These would be great as a gift! I really need to try to make some crackers one of these days...

Anonymous said...

My sister and I ate every last crumb of these. I think we finished the bottle of wine too!