First of all we have a little business to attend to. There were 162 entries in the Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It contest and the “magical” random number generator has tapped lucky contestant #24 as the winner of their very own copy of the cookbook. Congratulations Kim! Hopefully your daughter will like all of the other recipes as well (not just the Toaster Tarts). If you didn’t win the book you can always purchase Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It and start having crafty kitchen adventures of your very own. You may also want to consider following the author Karen Solomon via her blog or twitter.
By the way, if you haven’t already subscribed to ErinCooks.com please consider doing so now. I’d hate for you to miss out on any of the upcoming recipes and cookbook giveaways.
Crackers are my nemesis. They are evil bits of wonderful carbs that call to me from the depths of the cupboard no matter how high on the shelf I hide the box. In general I can’t buy them because it’s an inevitability that I will eat the whole carton in one sitting (maybe two sessions if I start to feel guilty during the first snacking frenzy).
So there. I’ve confessed to my big dark cracker addiction. But cracker issue or not I simply couldn’t get the thought of making these Rosemary and Olive Oil crackers out of my head. I kept flipping back to the recipe page over and over again until I just threw caution completely to the wind and started pulling down my flour and sugar containers, olive oil, and other baking supplies.
Originally, I planned to serve these crackers as a pre-lunch appetizer for a date I had on the calendar with my friend Meghan and her daughter Emily, but we ended up having to reschedule so guess who’s been nibbling on crackers all week? Here’s a hint. It’s not CK.
By the way, in case you haven’t heard the news I recently adopted a little orange kitten. We’ve been having some seriously hilarious (and also harrowing) interactions with him over the last few weeks. Emily and Meghan may not have had the opportunity to sample these crispy and delicious crackers but they did get to meet Watson in all his persnickety glory.
In addition to being completely adorable these mini crackers are perfect for dipping. I whipped up a quick Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese dip and seriously forgot where I was for awhile. Now I don’t condone mindless eating in general, but sometimes a girl just has to let go and curl up with something crunchy and a good book. Besides, you can always go for a run afterward.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the cracker tops
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for the cracker tops
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon dried chopped rosemary, plus more for the cracker tops
In a large bowl or food processor, mix the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. In another bowl lightly beat the egg and the olive oil. Slowly stir the liquid into the dry ingredients in the bowl, or combine in the processor and pulse, until the dough starts to form a course meal. Add the water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together and you can form it into a single ball. Add the chopped rosemary and pulse to combine.
On a lightly floured work surface, cut the dough in half. Shape each piece into a square about 12 inches wide. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets and dust with flour (Erin’s Note: I always use Silpats).
Roll out 1 piece of dough, trying to retain its square shape, until it reaches a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. The desired thickness can vary to your taste; note that the thinner the cracker, the crisper and the more delicate it will be. Lightly prick the dough all over, every half inch or so, with the tines of a fork. Lightly brush the top with water, sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary, then give 1 or 2 more gentle rolls with a floured rolling pin to press the toppings into the dough.
Cut the dough into the desired shapes. (Erin’s Note: I used mini cookie cutters shaped like stars, hearts, and ruffled circles).
Carefully transfer the crackers onto the prepared baking sheets using a scraper or a spatula. Bake for 8 to 20 minutes, until evenly browned. Check the crackers after 8 minutes; their cooking time will vary by size and thickness. Small, snack-size crackers might be ready, whereas larger crackers could require longer. Note that all the crackers might not be done at the same time–those around the edges of the baking sheet might cook more quickly.
Cool the crackers completely, and store in an airtight container up to 1 week or more. These crackers also freeze beautifully for several months. Let them sit at room temperature for 2 hours before use.
Quick Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Yields approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup roasted red peppers, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces creamy goat cheese
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 tablespoon lemon juice, and possibly more if the dip is too thick
Salt and Pepper to taste
Blend all of the ingredients in the bowl of your food processor until smooth and creamy. If the dip is too thick add a little more lemon juice until you reach the consistency you desire. Serve with crackers, chips, or vegetables.