Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ina Garten's Parmesan Crackers

I've been thinking about this recipe, from Ina Garten's most recent cookbook Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics for awhile. Something about it was so intriguing. Perhaps it was the fact that these crackers sound dull and look dull? Or that the recipe was bizarrely simple? I just couldn't imagine them being anything but tough, thick, boring, and thirst-inducing. But I trust Ina. I knew she'd prove me wrong.

The crackers are so easy and are officially the best make-ahead appetizer. I did the dough about four days in advance of cooking them and left it sitting in a log in my refrigerator. When I was ready, I just sliced and baked! In twenty minutes, I had delicious crackers that packed a punch of flavor with such simplicity. I really couldn't get over it. They were the right kind of buttery - enough to not be crumbly, but not so much that they are greasy. Ina pulled through, per usual, and totally impressed me with this recipe.

Parmesan and Thyme Crackers
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup grated parmesan
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1. Cream the butter for about a minute using an electric mixer.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and combine
3. Dump dough onto floured board and form into a log. If it is too dry, add a tablespoon of water (I did)
4. Wrap log in plastic and place in freezer for 30 minutes, in refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in freezer for up to 6 months
5. Bake at 350 for 22 minutes, until slightly golden. Serve at room temperature.

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