Parmesan and Thyme Crackers

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
15 min
30 min
25 min

30 to 36 crackers

  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until creamy. Add the Parmesan, flour, salt, thyme and pepper and combine.

Dump the dough on a lightly floured board and roll into a 13-inch long log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake for 22 minutes.

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    136 Reviews
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    After forming the dough into a log, I sprinkled poppy and sesame seeds on my work surface then rolled the log in the seeds evenly coating it. I love the look and the extra crunch the seeds add!
    For those who find the dough too dry and crumbly to form into a log, try waiting a few minutes before moving on to this step. Turn the mixer off and let the dough just sit in the mixer about 15 minutes. This gives the flour a little time to partially hydrate and makes it much more workable. It works for me without having to add additional liquid. After forming and wrapping, I let it hang out in the fridge several hours before slicing or freezing and my slices come out clean.
    These were very good and quite easy to make. The only reason I didn't rate this recipe a 5 is because the dough was very crumbly and didn't hold together well. I think that should have been mentioned in the recipe. I added a bit of water to make the dough come together. I served them as an appetizer before a dinner party and my guests raved about them.
    Looks good
    Made these yesterday. Nearly gone!
    These crackers cannot be beat!!!! Just cannot get enough of them. I make them for every party, and still get calls asking if I am making them. I love them with appetizers but also really enjoy with any soup
    A savory cracker--meant to be eaten without anything spread on it--is quite good with some modification. I've always depended on a Lee Bailey Cayenne Wafer recipe that uses a ratio of 1 c of flour to 1 c of cheese and found that reducing the flour made Ina's version less crumbly. As did another reviewer, I added a small amount of cream to help the dough hold together (though water would work too) and the results were good. The thyme is a subtle choice. One can also substitute other herbs, though I recommend cutting back rosemary to 3/4 t since it's strong.
    I've made these several times out of the "barefoot contessa back to basics" cookbook. The recipe in the cookbook calls for 4 ounces of parmesan cheese, instead of just the 3 ounces listed for the recipe here on the food network site. The cookbook also suggests adding 1 tsp of water if the dough won't come together. I always end up adding 3 to 4 tsps of water. Try these modifications and you will LOVE these crackers. Especially with a cold Prosecco :-) 
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    The flavor of my garden thyme and the pecorino I used were amazing. That's where the good part ends. These are not really a 'cracker' at all. There is something wrong in the ratio of butter to flour....not sure. I will be working on this to make it better. The butter ratio made these fall apart so that you could not spread even room-temp goat cheese on them. Flavor=5 stars, texture=1/2 star (not cracker texture, but more like a crumbly cookie). A cracker needs to bake up firm so that you can place spreads or condiments on them and eat with a cocktail in hand.
    I've made these several times out of the "barefoot contessa back to basics" cookbook. The recipe in the cookbook calls for 4 ounces of parmesan cheese, instead of just the 3 ounces listed for the recipe here on the food network site. The cookbook also suggests adding 1 tsp of water if the dough won't come together. I always end up adding 3 to 4 tsps of water. Try these modifications and you will LOVE these crackers. Especially with a cold Prosecco :-)
    I just made these to take to a friends house later today. I used my food processer instead of a mixer (I make Claire Robinson's rosemary parmesan shortbread and she uses the food processor and they turn out great every time. Unfortunately I didn't read the reviews prior to following this recipe to the letter and placed it in the freezer. I only froze for about 20 minutes and let sit out so it wouldn't crumble so much when I sliced. The next time, I will follow Claires process and the reviews by adding a little water if it's too dry and refridgerate for an hour instead of freeze. Also, these were too salty. I used kosher salt so maybe that was my fault. Am pretty dissappointed. I really wanted to like them! Am off to the store for more thyme and will try another batch! <fingers crossed>
    I live in the desert but I don't think that attributed to the mealy dry dough. I read the reviews and added 3T of water and they came out beautifully. I had fresh rosemary and I think the next time I will add some orange zest. Once I figured out the water issue I will make them again. Mighty tasty! Be unique...who else makes crackers?
    I have made these several times, and they are always a hit. They are more popular with guests than Ina's Stilton and Walnut version, but those are good too. I agree with the reviews stating that the dough is too dry to come together properly, but I add one extra Tbs. of butter and 2 tsp. of water, and they are perfect. They are definitely easier to cut if they are not completely frozen. They are perfect anyway. Highly recommended and SO EASY!
    Very, very good. As other reviewers mention, butter MUST be room temp and it's cold in my house so the butter never gets warm enough. You can microwave on defrost for a few seconds as one reviewer did, but I also added 2 to 3 TBS of heavy cream. They were marvelous.
    These are lovely - and a hit with guests.
    Another winner Ina!! I made homemade Tomato Bisque Soup with San Marzano tomato's from my husband's garden. These crackers really complimented the soup. My husband Jeffrey absolutely loved them!!
    I'm not a baker but found it simple and well worth it. Love it Ina, thanks!
    These were to die for. Cant wait to serve them to my guests.
    I served these this morning at my annual "Champagne Send-off" that I host for some friends on the first day of school. These are fantastic! Crumbly like shortbread, deliciously savory. I can't wait to try with all sorts of combinations, including adding lemon zest. I used parmesan (out of the can...gasp! and fresh basil. I added about 2 teaspoons of water at the end, and zapped the butter in the microwave on "defrost" for a few seconds because it was just out of the fridge when I finally settled on making these. The dough chilled all night in the fridge, instead of 30 minutes in the freezer. I'm having a hard time not polishing off the 3 that are left!
    You need to watch the video before doing this recipe. The butter needs to be at room temperature and you might need to add water to make the dough come together. Overall a good cracker, and I could see adding other herbs and cheeses to make what you want.  
    This is a simple recipe to make and nearly everyone will love the savory shortbread cookie that results. It can be made without a stand mixer if you have an old fashioned pastry blade and stamina, if the butter is warm enough. (I found out the hard way that my 66 degree kitchen 'room temperature' was not warm enough last winter. 
    The recipe is also quite tasty if you substitute chives for the thyme.
    Beyond Delicious! So Savory & Perfect With Cocktails! Better Served Warm Out Of the Oven, But Just As Delicious Served At Room Temperature.  
    A Keeper! Do Not Over Bake. 22 Minutes Max As Ina's Recipe Notes. 
    I Made Two Batches. One Exactly As Ina's Recipe. MMMMM 
    The Other, I Used 1 Cup Of Good Cheddar Cheese Instead Of The Parmesan Cheese, 1/2 Cup Finely Diced Green Onion Or Chives, 1/2 Cup Finely Diced Good Deli Pepperoni, 1/4 Tsp Salt, 1/2 Tsp Pepper, 1/2 Tsp Granulated Garlic Powder, 1/4 Cup Or 1 Stick Of Room Temperature Butter, 1 and 1/4 Cup Flour and 3 Tablespoons Tap Water. Baked At 350 Degrees for 22 Minutes. My Guests LOVED Them.  
    I Sliced Them Quickly And Ice Cold With A Sharp Knife From The Ice Box And Baked Them On Parchment Paper. There Was No Need To Flour A Board. No Crumbling At All! 
    Thank You Ina For Your Inspiration & Perfect Recipes!
    Why would you capitalize almost every word of this post?
    I doubled the recipe and added extra parmesan. The extra parmesan meant that I needed a little cold water, which was fine. I pulsed it all in a Cuisinart, and used dried oregano. If you're experiencing crumbling, it's because the log is too cold! Let it sit for about five minutes, and then slice it. That worked perfectly for me, and I'd been worried about the crumbling at first too.
    Awful. They were so gross I can't even explain. I followed the direction and even after that eww. Do yourself a favor and make something good.
    Loved ' em! I ran out of AP flour and used 1/2 cup of spelt four- they reminded me of a savory short bread. A perfect crunchy, tender bite- not a "cracker" bite. 
    My kids were stealing them hot out of the oven! Definitely gonna make them again! 
    "Mom, you can't make these crackers and leave them on the counter and expect us not to eat them or wait to have them with dinner. Can I please have just one more"?!
    Doubled the recipe and served these to my book club last night and they were gone! SO good! Homemade crackers are more of a biscuit than a crispy cracker, so I was not disappointed as that is what I expected. As for updating the recipe to reflect the addition of water, it is updated - this version is from 2006, so look at the 2008 one also on this website.
    did not like these at all. they are more like biscuits instead of crackers. what a waste of ingredients. very disappointed
    These crackers were delicious!! I didn't need to use any additional water for the dough to form. We made a triple recipe and had them in the refidgerator to cut and cook over the holidays. They were certainly a hit. We tried a variation of the recipe with sharp cheddar cheese and rosemary. The cheddar and rosemary were actually preferred by the crowds at our house.
    I wished I had read all the reviews before making these, mine also crumbled and the additional water would have probably prevented this. I agree that the recipe should be updated to reflect this. I think the flavor is good and will try again with the additional water.
    The flavor of these is very good, but the low rating is due to them crumbling apart after removing them from the fridge and slicing them. Additionally, they fell apart when eating them such that no one could put anything on them. The problem may be due to living in Colorado's "high desert". I'll attempt to alter the recipe to suit altitude and no humidity.
    Oh my gosh.... everyone loved, loved, loved these. Gave the recipe out at least a dozen times. So easy to make. I think that I am going to try rosemary & garlic to the next batch instead of the parmesan and thyme. I wouldn't change a thing, other than trying new seasonings. Great base recipe.
    Ina, I love ya! This recipe is SO easy and it always impresses my guests when I make my own crackers. I've made this several times, and I have found that I always add 1 tablespoon of half-and-half (rather than 1 teaspoon of water to bring the dough together. Since I rarely have fresh thyme leaves around the house, I use 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning instead. And I throw in a couple of dashes of cayenne to give the crackers a bit of a jolt.
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