Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Appetizers

I have been having the time of my life planning and cooking for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  It will be traditional in every sense of the word.  Personally, I don't think Thanksgiving is the time to try out new recipes.  People (and I mean me) like the old standards: turkey, dressing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, veggies, gravy, pie.  Oh sure, go ahead and throw in another pie besides pumpkin or shake it up a bit and add some garlic to the mashed potatoes but leave the rest alone.

Now here is where you can deviate a little bit.  The appetizers.  Of course you don't want to serve anything very filling as there will be much to contend with during the main feast.  But a few tasty tidbits to whet peoples appetite is just fine.

I read this recipe for Parmesan Cream Crackers from the New York Times "The Minimalist" column written by Mark Bittman and it sounded like the perfect bite, served with a variety of olives and a sparkling wine or cider.  Let me tell you, once you've tried these delicate, flavorful morsels you will never want to eat a Goldfish  cracker again!  They are cheesy, flaky, easy to make and sooooo good! 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Parmesan Cream Crackers

1 cup all-purpose flour, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes or grated (a very good way to do it)
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half, more as needed

Coarse salt, pepper, sesame or poppy seeds, minced garlic or whatever you like for sprinkling (optional).
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly dust with flour. Put flour, salt, cheese and butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until flour and butter are combined. Add about 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half and let machine run for a bit; continue to add liquid a teaspoon at a time, until mixture holds together but is not sticky.  I actually combined everything by hand and it turned out just fine and very easy to roll and cut.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/2-inch thick or even thinner, adding flour as needed. Cut with 1-2 inch biscuit cutter or transfer sheet of dough to prepared baking sheet (drape it over rolling pin to make it easier). Score lightly with a sharp knife, pizza cutter or a pastry wheel if you want to break crackers into squares or rectangles later on. Sprinkle with salt or other topping if you like.

Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature or store in a tin for a few days.


whack patti said...


Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons said...

So cute! They look just like ritz crackers. Bet they taste better though =)

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I'm sorry that I've been so scarce. My job is literally taking up much of my time and energy. I made my first crackers, too! They are easy to make...however the butter... sinfully good! These look delicate and pretty.

Lizzy M. said...

I wish I could make these gluten free, they look great!