When I was in college I made a 100,000 cheese straws for every President’s tea, Alumni luncheon, or fundraiser that was held while I was there. It seems that one would tire of a certain food when one had to produce that many in such a short time. But, that is not the case. I still love them and when I saw this recipe in Ina Garten’s Back to Basic Cookbook using freshly grated parmesan cheese I had to try them. These are similar to cheese straws in some ways, but much more rich and oh so flavorful. In other words they are absolutely divine. These crackers are a buttery shortbread with the saltiness of parmesan cheese and a hint of thyme. Novice cooks these are just for you to pull out of the oven and place on a beautiful tray at a party. I promise they will be a hit!
Here is the big difference in the flavor, the freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Parmesan and Thyme Crackers from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics
Yield 24 crackers
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter for 1 minute.
- With the mixer on low add parmesan cheese, thyme, salt, and pepper. Combine ingredients.
- With the mixer still on low, add the flour and combine until the mixture is in large crumbles, about 1 minute.
- If the dough is too dry to come together add about 1 teaspoon of water.
- Pour the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll into a 9- in. log. I did use a ruler to measure. Be careful not to add too much flour. It will come together easily.
- Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the log into 24 slices that are about 3/8 in. thick with a small sharp knife.
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for about 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Mine baked in 21 minutes.
- Cool and serve at room temperature.