Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Black Pepper & Cherry Savory Crackers

These tender crackers are for soft goat cheeses and tubs of homemade (or farm stand) ricotta cheese.  Black pepper and dried cherry feature here but feel free to swap in chopped rosemary and dried figs or walnuts and dates.  Try serving the crackers with drier cheeses too--Manchego comes to mind.

Black Pepper & Cherry Savory Crackers
Yield 2 dozen crackers

Ingredients
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
½ cup dried fruit, chopped(cherries, cranberries, nectarines,
¼ sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Method

  1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and use an electric beater to mix until fluffy.  
  2. Add salt, pepper and brown sugar and continue to beat until sugar has melded with butter.  
  3. Add flour as you continue to beat so that the flour is nicely coated in butter mixture.  Do this in three batches but work quickly so you do not over work the flour and create a tough cracker.
  4. Add egg and mix in.  
  5. Use a large spoon to mix in dried fruit, nuts and any extra flavorings (herbs, citrus zest, etc).  
  6. Using your hands, form the dough into a log.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.  
  7. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350˚F.  
  8. Slice dough in ¼ inch slices and lay on a parchment lined baking sheet.  
  9. Bake 10 minutes until crackers are just browning on the bottom.  
  10. Remove to a cookie rack to cool.  Crackers will crisp as they cool.  Store in an airtight container.