Seeded Whole Grain Parmesan Crackers

What could be better than a wedge of fine cheese and a pile of crisp, melt-in-your-mouth delicious crackers? Add a few apple or pear slices, a bunch of grapes or some quartered figs and you’ve got a appetizer worthy of royalty. But what if you upped the ante to a whole new level and ……………….

……………. serve this simple feast with your own homemade crackers? What if these crackers stole the show with their delightful, buttery, parmesan flavor and crisp seeded texture? Oh, and if they cost a fraction of the price of the fancy store-bought gourmet crackers? Wouldn’t you feel like a smarty-darty? Maybe the hostess (host) with the mostest? How about “proud as punch”?  I thought so ……………. that’s precisely why I created these yummy crackers! 🙂

Seriously, these are delicious and will go well with just about any cheese or spread that you choose to pair them with. I love serving them with a block of cream cheese smothered in my Jalapeño Pepper Jelly. Shower it with pomegranate arils (seeds) and finely chopped cilantro, and you’ve got one of the prettiest appetizers you’ll ever lay eyes on!

Have you noticed the price for a small box of gourmet crackers? Oh my, it’s crazy when you think about the cost of the ingredients; mainly flour, seasonings and perhaps a bit of butter. When you make your own, you not only get to control the ingredients, but a whole batch will cost you a fraction of the price of just one small box of purchased crackers! Do you need any more reasons to fire up your mixer and get that rolling pin a rollin’? I didn’t think so.

P.S. Have you ever tried Nigella Seeds? If not, you’re in for a treat. They’re unlike other seeds, that often have a nutty flavor. These little guys have more of a herby, slightly oniony flavor. They’re commonly used in Indian cuisine and are often sprinkled on Naan. You can find them at Whole Foods and other specially shops. They add a subtle, but delicious flavor to these crackers. Poppy seeds can also be substituted.

Seeded Whole Grain Parmesan Crackers

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons nigella seeds, if unavailable, substitute poppy seeds or black sesame seeds
6 ounces butter, 1 1/2 sticks
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup whole wheat or multi-grain flour *
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
sesame seeds (for topping)

Instructions:
1. Combine butter, Parmesan, seeds and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed till smooth and fluffy, about two minutes.

2. Add the two flours, baking soda and salt and continue mixing until a soft dough forms. Don’t give up if mixture seems dry and crumbly at first.

3. Place dough on one half of a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. Fold extra plastic wrap over dough and flatten the ball with the palm of your hand. With a rolling pin, roll plastic covered dough into a larger, approximately 8 inch flat circle. Tuck extra plastic wrap under the flattened dough and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Dust a work surface generously with flour. Roll dough to a 1/3-1/2-inch thickness. Cut shapes with a cookie cutter and arrange them on the sheet pans, spaced about an inch apart. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and press the seedds down gently with fingers to adhere to each cracker. Scraps can be either baked as is, for fun irregular shaped crackers or re-rolled and cut with cutters. (For a pretty presentation, and also to allow for different size appetites, I like to use different sizes of the same shaped cutter.)

6. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before storing or serving, Can be stored in an airtight container for several days or frozen indefinitely.

Notes:
* ~  If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can use all regular (all-purpose flour).  Just omit the whole wheat/ multi-grain flour and use a total of 1⅔ cups of the all-purpose flour.

PRINTABLE RECIPE



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