Dining Features

Hamptons Epicure: Going Crackers for the Holidays

If Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray had a baby, it would be me. I’m all about doing things from scratch AND “cheating” to save time when cooking. These crackers are one of the recipes that I’ll be sharing at my presentation about surviving the holidays at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton.

You can make them out of almost any flour (whole wheat, rye, graham) with just about any dried herbs or savory spice (oregano, basil, black pepper, sesame seeds). They come out just fine every time and they go really well with my cheese balls, which don’t even require a recipe.

For two small cheese balls: Combine an 8-oz. package of softened cream cheese and 1/3 cup of Parmesan. Form into balls (or a log) and roll in black pepper or nuts—presto—cheese ball.

Your guests won’t believe it’s not goat cheese and they’ll be bowled over by your homemade crackers—whether you make them no-salt, low salt or extra salty. They’re also great with hummus…

QUICK Crackers

Yields about 2 dozen small crackers.
2 cups of flour(s)
1/3 cup oil*
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon caraway or flax seed
2 teaspoons dried herbs
(optional 1 ½ teaspoons salt)
Additional flour for rolling out

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place all ingredients in a stand-up mixer or food processor with a mixing blade and mix, or pulse, until well combined.

Mixture should hold together when made into a ball. If it doesn’t, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until it holds.

Sprinkle flour over nonstick surface and rub some on rolling pin. Roll out to about 1/8” thickness. Cut as you wish. Squares and rectangles work well.

Don’t worry about overworking the dough. If your homemade, healthy crackers come out rather dense, it will just seem like you planned it that way.

Place on parchment-covered cookie sheet and bake in oven for about 13 minutes (check at 10 minutes).

Allow to rest for at least 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet.

Serve warm or cooled.

Will keep in an airtight container for about three days.

*I could have listed “fat” here but that turns some people off. I often used melted butter and, when I have it on hand, include a bit of melted bacon fat.

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