Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Delightful Herb Crackers

It may be only the beginning of September, but let's face it folks...the holidays are right around the corner.  Soon you'll be serving up Halloween treats and before you know it Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here.  I found a  simple and fun recipe for herbed crackers that you will enjoy making and take pride in serving to family and guests.  They would also make great gifts!  These homemade crackers have more substance than the store-bought variety and are great served with herbed dips and butters! (See my Let's Eat! column for an herbal butter recipe!)

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup rye flour (may substitute with whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 extra large egg
1 tbsp. horseradish mustard
1 tsp.fresh thyme leaves, minced or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3 tbsp. garlic chives, freshly snipped are best
4 tbsp. ice water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to blend.  Add the butter and process until butter is in pea-size pieces.  Add the egg and mustard and mix until just blended.  Add the herbs and process a few seconds more.  Add the ice water and pulse until the dough just starts to come together.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured pastry marble or board and knead for 2 - 3 minutes.  Divide the dough into 2 parts; flatten them into disks about 1/4 inch thick.  Wrap one in plastic and refrigerate until ready to roll.  Roll the first piece of dough about 1/8 inch thick, lightly flouring and turning the dough as necessary.

Cut the dough with a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter and prick a few times with a fork, if desired.  It is not necessary however.  Bake the crackers on ungreased baking sheets for 10 minutes, or until they just begin to turn golden.  While your first batch is baking you can roll out the other piece of dough.  Remove crackers from oven and cool on racks.  When completely cooled, store in tins.

I hope you'll give this simple recipe a try.  Play with different herbal combinations for something uniquely your own. Please let me know how yours turn out!

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