Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cheddar pecan flowers

Most people don’t think to make their own crackers. If you haven’t tried it before, you should. The process is fairly simple, and the results are so much better than store bought. I combined extra sharp white cheddar cheese with ground pecans to get a cracker with a bold flavor.

The ingredient list is minimal for this recipe, and the dough comes together quickly in the food processor. I added some chipotle powder for a touch of heat and a smoky flavor.

The dough is rolled out and cut into shapes. I used a 2.5 inch flower cookie cutter. You can use a different shape, but the cutter should be at least 2 inches. Otherwise, you can simply cut the dough into squares. The crackers are sprinkled with fleur de sel before heading into the oven.

The crackers bake until crisp and golden brown. These crackers are great on their own, but could also be served as an accompaniment to dips and spreads.

Cheddar pecan flowers
Makes about 2 dozen
Adapted from the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

½ cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¾ cup pecans, toasted and finely ground
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons cold water
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
fleur de sel for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, pecans, kosher salt, black pepper and chipotle powder. Add the butter, pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the cheese, pulse until the cheese is thoroughly incorporated into the mixture. With the machine running, gradually add 2 tablespoons of cold water; process until the dough comes together.

Gather the dough into a ball, dust with flour. Put the dough on a plate and cover; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut the dough into shapes using the cookie cutter. Place the crackers onto a baking sheet lined with a silpat. Sprinkle a little fleur de sel over the tops of the crackers; lightly press the salt into the dough.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, until the centers are firm and the crackers are lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool.

64 comments:

Lexie said...

Yum! I have never even thought to make crackers. I will have to try this!

Robin Sue said...

These remind me of cheese straws made here in the South, just jazzier! Yours turned out very pretty, so perfect!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

What a great idea to bake a savory cracker for a change. I'd love the bold flavor also. Beautiful!

Lisa said...

I would not love to roll out all the crackers however I just might as these look well worth it!

lisaiscooking said...

Your crackers look great! I was searching for a good cracker recipe a while back, and ended up not making any. Next time, I'll know where to look!

Donna-FFW said...

IMPRESSIVE! I never thought to make my own crackers and I think the pecan/white cheddar combo sounds divine!

Debinhawaii said...

I made a cheese cracker from Giada that was good but more like a cookie I thought. These look amazing and I love the white cheddar with the pecans combo.

noble pig said...

These are adorable and I bet it's a great mix of flavors.

Cathy said...

I love homemade crackers - it's been so long since I've made any. Yours look delicious.

Anonymous said...

These were yummy!
Deb

Lynda said...

The cheddar and pecans together sounds wonderful Sara! I haven't made crackers before, but I think it's time!

LaDue & Crew said...

Fabulous!! They are gorgeous... those yummy little details make parties extra special!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, those savory cookies look scrumptious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Monica H said...

Can a cracker be better tasting, simply because it's in a flower shape? I think so. These are cute!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

These look and sound fabulous Sara! I absolutely love cheese biscuits and adding pecan to them makes them even better!

Sophie said...

MMMM...Sara! They look georgous!! Yum Yum Yum!!

I just gave you an award: please come over @ my foodblog & pick it up!
Congrats!!

Happy cook said...

Looks beautiful, first i thought you made a mistke in typing from swrill to flower :-)

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow looks crunchy and yum,....love the glorious shape.....

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Absolutely gorgeous Sara.

I've made my own crackers a couple of times and was pleased with the results. Only problem is - they disappear faster than I can make them. One of my friends makes a cracker similar to yours but doesn't use a cookie cutter. The cutter kicks them up on the beauty scale. Very nice indeed.
Sam

Netts Nook said...

I would never of thought of making my own crackers how perfect are you they look mouthwatering.

Dawn said...

I love the flavor combo in these. You made them even better making them into shapes. Very cute.

girlichef said...

I bet this adorable crackers pack a huge punch of flavor, they sound great. Crackers are always something I've meant to make at home, but haven't as of yet. It is pretty simple, isn't it!?

♥Rosie♥ said...

Oh wow Sara I just know these crackers are going to be so delish with such great combos of flavours! They do look so pretty too!

stephchows said...

Hmmmm those do seem really easy. This may get added to my list of new things to tackle :D

Debbie said...

Oh they look delicious!!! What a great idea...

Barbara Bakes said...

What a great idea! You are so creative!

Elra said...

Sara, this look so cute, actually not just cute, they are beautiful! I like pecan very much. Yummy!

Bridgett said...

I love making cheesy crackers for my kids but I love this "adult" version. Great flavors here!

Soma said...

I just love these!! Just recently I was seeing some crackers with walnut & thought that I will do them sometimes. These are just fabulous!

Colleen said...

These look beautiful - what a great idea!

Culinary Wannabe said...

I love the shape. I'm sure these would be a huge hit served with a dip at a party.

Diana said...

You're right -- I've never thought about making my own crackers before! I'll have to try these for my family at our next get together. We are always nibbling on store bought crackers and cheese so I'm sure they'd be impressed with some homemade ones.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love self baked crackers. The crunchy, flavourful, fresh out of oven crackers are hard to resist.

jenna said...

These look amazing!! I'm definitely saving this recipe!!

teresa said...

I bet these are so fun to make! They look fantatic!

Jenna said...

btw: I love your new header! It looks cool and I love how the picture changes! :)

dessertobsessed said...

these look sweet, but they're salty! SO yummy!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I've never made my own crackers I must confess. I guess I figure that there isn't much point to making something myself that gets eaten quickly and often covered with other things.

Silly thought since hubby loves to snack on crackers. I love the cheese and pecans in these. Very ymmy.

Katherine Aucoin said...

These are grogeous Sara. I'll have to find a cracker cutter. It seems I only make crackers around the holidays. This needs to change.

Andrea said...

These look so good - and I think I have everything on hand right now to make them. What a great snack (I love to snack!).

unconfidentialcook said...

The crackers look so beautiful, and I bet they're delicious. Looks well worth the effort.

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm amazed. You even make crackers look gorgeous.

Tyler said...

what a great recipe!! sounds like a delicious flavor combination!

The Duo Dishes said...

Nice! A savory cracker for sure.

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

Sara this is edible-tasty-sweet art both ingredients cheddar & pecans in the same package: flowers wow!!
Craving them.....:D

Cheers!

Gera

doggybloggy said...

deluxe! I have made my own version of cheezits before and the results were outstanding - I like the shape of these 'flowers' and the flavor combo sounds perfect!

Heather said...

how lovely! i totally want to try these!!!

Laurie said...

How delicate and delicious !

5 Star Foodie said...

What a great idea! They are so cute with a flower shape and sound delicious with pecans and cheddar! These would be devoured in my house in minutes!

Reeni♥ said...

Your so right! I never think to make my own crackers. These look delicious and so cute!

Chef Fresco said...

Yum!!! I've never thought of making my own crackers either! These look soo good!

Kerstin said...

They're so pretty! I never thought to make my own crackers because I have always seen them as a vehicle for cheese :) But, these look like they'd be super tasty on their own!

Natashya said...

Love the crackers! They look so good.

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

wow Sara....love those crackers...n with cheddar...I know it may sound funny...but I LOVE cheddar for its sharpness, taste and texture. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

Marta said...

Hey Sara, love the new banner :)
These crackers looks brilliant! You're right, I had never thought of making them myself, but they would just open a whole new window of flavour experimentation! I gotta jump it!

Julia from Dozen Flours said...

this is a great idea! I bake all the time but never even considered making crackers before. Awesome idea! And awesome blog! Gorgeous photos too!

The Food Hunter said...

What a great idea. I never think to make my own crackers but they have to be much better than store bought. thanks

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

those are beautiful and they sound so good with the nuts in them! do you eat these plain or with something on them?

Sara said...

LK - We just ate them plain, but you could definitely serve them with a dip.

finsmom said...

SO COOL! I will have to try these soon!!!

Bharti said...

WONDERFUL! I really like this recipe.

Jamie said...

What wonderful crackers! Love the pecan cheddar combo and they are pretty as well!

Amanda @ Mrs.W's Kitchen said...

I've been wanting to try making my own crackers--it really sounds so simple, and I'm convinced it would be a much better quality product.

Yours look fantastic! Love that they're flowers.

nora@ffr said...

vat a super idea of making crackers. love the combo. lovely pics as usual :)