These homemade Manchego cheese crackers come to you today by rabbit trail.
Then I was poring through The New Spanish Table choosing recipes for a dinner party that we’re hosting next weekend. Have you ever leafed through this cookbook? The downside is there aren’t many photos, the upside is that the more I read the recipes, the more I want to make everything. On page 168 I stumbled across a recipe for Manchego Cheese Crackers with Marcona Almonds – sounded interesting. The author’s, Anya von Bremzen, headnote credited Melissa Clark for the recipe. She said, “…crackers are from my friend, food writer Melissa Clark, who, while not Spanish, is the best baker I know.” I love Melissa Clark. But my menu for the party was already bursting.
The little voice grew louder.
A few days later I clicked over to Shutterbean where Tracy had posted a fantastic looking Mint Julep kicked up with lemon. “Can’t wait to try this,” I thought. And what snack do you suppose she suggested with said Julep? Cheese crackers.
That was it.
So here they are; and I promise they’re wonderful – savory, cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread.
I took a few liberties with the recipe – adjusted ingredient amounts and swapped in white whole wheat flour and salted butter. I topped each one with a Marcona almond, as Melissa suggests, but in the recipe made it optional. They make the crackers pretty, but when I make them again (and I will), I’ll serve the almonds on the side.
When you make these crackers, I suggest making Tracy’s Juleps too – they’re a perfect match! Click here for her post.
- 6 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 4 ounces grated Manchego cheese
- 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour sifted, 150 grams
- 1 large egg
- about 40 blanched Marcona almonds optional
- kosher salt
Add butter and cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together until fully combined. Scrape down bowl sides and add flour. Mix on low speed until dough just comes together.
Turn dough out onto a strip of plastic wrap and shape into a 1 1/2" log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. If you have a spare wrapping paper or paper towel roll, slice it lengthwise and place the plastic covered dough log inside. (This is a nice trick for making shapely ice box cookies too.) Refrigerate the log for at least an hour and up to 4 days - or freeze for up to a month.
When you're ready to bake, place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the dough into 1/4" rounds. Arrange them on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing crackers about 1" apart.
Now make the egg wash; crack an egg in a small bowl and mix with a fork or whisk. Use a pastry brush to coat each cracker with egg wash. Optionally, press one Marcona almond into the center of each cracker.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until firm and golden brown. Transfer crackers to cooling rack and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt.
Once crackers are cool, they'll keep for several days in an airtight container. (good luck with them lasting that long!)