Good Monday Morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was a little too busy for my liking, so I’m glad it’s Monday and I can get back to work and relax a little. And cook. Cooking seems to be a great escape for me in times of stress, and I’m grateful for it.
Yesterday I escaped into my new cookbook – Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics – which is filled with some pretty incredible (and fresh) recipes that I can’t wait to try.
But, the first one I made is the recipe for these fantastic Parmesan and Thyme Crackers (printable recipe below). I love recipes that are easy like this, but still bring a lot of satisfying flavor to the end result. I love having these around for a snack today. My friend Heather recommended trying them with Hummus, and as usual, she was right – So yummy! But they’d go great with other spreads and frankly, they’re pretty fabulous by themselves, which is how I’m munching them today.
Finally, the stars of the show: Parmesan and thyme. I love this combination so much. Yum! With the mixer on low, slowly add them both to the butter. It’s here that things will start smelling soooooo good.
Keep mixing until you have a bowl of dough that looks a little like this. If the dough is too dry, and mine was at this point, add a teaspoon of water or two, one at a time, just until you can form it into a ball.
I made such a mess. You can see that my dough wasn’t quite wet enough, and it was a challenge to get the dough to stay together. No worries, it all worked out in the end, but a little wetter dough would have been helpful at this point.
Roll out the dough into a 9 inch log and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the log for at least 30 minutes. You can refrigerate for up to 4 days, so it can easily be made ahead. Refrigerating it really makes the dough firm up and stay together well, so the longer you can chill it, the better. I chilled mine for an hour.
Next, slice the refrigerated dough log into 1/4 to 3/8 inch pieces (easiest to slice with a super sharp knife) and place on a parchment-prepared baking sheet and bake for 22 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet in the oven after 11 minutes so they bake evenly. Especially if you have a crabby, old Jenn-Aire oven like me.
Ina has done her homework because 22 minutes is exactly how long it took mine to bake and come out in perfect golden brown little crackers. I love how these turned out. Parmesan and thyme are two of my favorite things to cook with, so there was no way I could lose with these, but they’re even better than I expected. I love the texture too, it’s a bit like that of a shortbread cookie.
What would you serve these with? Or would you eat them plain? Plain is good, sooooooo very good, but I’d like to get more creative because I think these would help make a good little appetizer for a party or holiday get together.
Enjoy! And have a terrific week!
Parmesan & Thyme Crackers Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten in Barefoot Contessa: Back To Basics
- ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, add the Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper and combine. Leaving the mixer on low, add the flour and combine until the mixture is in large crumbles, about 1 minute. If the dough is too dry, add 1 teaspoon water.
Dump the dough onto a floured board and press into a ball. Roll into a 9 inch log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 4 days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the log into 3/8 inch rounds with a small, sharp knife and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 22 minutes, rotating the pan once during the baking, until very lightly browned. Cool and serve at room temperature.