Parmesan Cream and Rosemary Pepper Crackers

“Cracker heads and angels in your heart come together, yeah.” – The Cult

I guess I’m a cracker head.  I love making these things.  All I have to do is open up a box of something Nabisco and I am inspired to make these crackers.  They taste like a cracker should taste.  All crackers in boxes taste like breakfast cereal or cardboard to me these days.  My daughter asks for Wheat Thins at breakfast for goodness sake.  Is there any disputing my claim that they taste like cereal?

So, I decided to have about my third go at making these crackers.  They’re incredibly easy and the recipe will mold to just about any liquid added to the right amount of flour.  The original recipe has an olive oil and water mixture.  I modified it and added 100% cream as my liquid and they came out perfectly – again.  They do take some time and a bit of persistence to make, however.

In a quest to find a weekend father-daughter project in the kitchen, I tried to make these with Little NH.  Unfortunately, by the time we got started, she was in the middle of an intense post Fruit Loop sugar crash and she flailed out of the room yelling, “No, no, NOOOOOO!” as soon as I added the cream to the flour in batch number one.  No matter.  I persevered, adding copious amounts of grated Parmesan and rolling them onto the jelly roll pan with a pint glass.  I scored them with a pastry scraper, topped them with a little extra grated cheese and baked the heck out of them.  Batch number two, I used ground up fresh rosemary and cracked pepper – chimp simple.

I have to imagine these are better for you than crackers in a box.  There are no artificial ingredients and what’s a cup of whipping cream compared to a list of things on the side of a Nabisco box that I don’t have in my kitchen?  Because, you know, cream is good for you.  Well, much better than a belly full of Fruit Loops.

I’ve Gone Crackers

I just made 2 batches (4 cookie sheets full) of crackers.  One batch of rosemary olive oil and one batch of cream Parmesan.  (The proportions of liquid to flour are the same in both recipes.  I put 2 hand fulls of Parmesan in the cheese batch.)

Why?

1) It was on the Mark Bittman blog, 2) My daughter has a milk allergy, 3) good crackers are $4.50 a box over here, 4) there are very few good crackers in this country anyway and 5) hell, it’s Friday night and it beats having a gambling addiction.

I’m pretty pleased with them all in all.  The batches cooked a little differently because of the ingredients.  The olive oil batch crisped up better and I had to throw the cream and Parmesan batch in after they were broken up for a quick crisping.  The rosemary batch tastes like “pita chips” that we always hoard on our trips to Greece.  The cream and Parma batch taste like White Cheese Cheez-Its.  Not bad for a first try.  Having the option to keep dairy out is also a boon for the belly of my little soon-to-be-two-year-old.

OK, going to make some lamb chops now.  The U2 catalogue is in heavy rotation and the Chilean red wine is, uh, open.