DIY: Savory Shortbread Crackers

Here is something to wow your guests (if you are allowed to have guests by now!).

Homemade cheese crackers with herbs. Think shortbread savory cookies.

Since my herbs are the star of the garden, growing 6 varieties of basil.......6 varieties of thyme, etc. etc., why not show them off in a savory treat to go with wine.

I followed the recipe directions to a T, and watched a tutorial so I could hang the of it.

The secret is when you roll the dough out, place your herbs on top in a decorative fashion, spaced properly, then cover with a piece of parchment paper, and roll over again, so you are "lacquering" the herbs, pressing them into the cold dough.

These are best eaten the day they are baked, however, we still enjoyed them the next night with a glass of wine.

Some helpful hints:

Chilled dough is important here, so your cookies hold up when they bake.

I used pressed fresh pansies, as well as sage, thyme, chive flowers and parsley.

I found that the parsley held up the best after baking. It retained its green color quite well.
Second in line was the sage.....last were the pansies and chive flowers, which lost their beauty after baking.

This was a fun thing to do on a rainy Saturday and everyone loved them.

Savory Herby Shortbread Crackers: (recipe adapted from The View from Great Island)

1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp finely minced rosemary leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
extra whole leaf herbs for laminating onto the dough (parsley, sage, edible flowers, thyme)

Put the flour, cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Add the chunks of soft butter and pulse about 30 times to combine into a crumbly mixture. The process until the dough comes together, this should not take longer than 30 seconds to a minute. If the dough does not come together, add a tiny bit of water to the bowl, start with 1/2 tsp, and process again.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and bring together into a smooth flat disk, just like you do with pie crust dough. The dough should be smooth and uniform, without dry floury parts. Knead it with your hands if necessary. Wrap the disk in the plastic and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 to 1/8 thickness. I do this between two sheets of waxed paper and it works like a charm, no sticking.

To laminate herbs onto the surface of the dough, lay them out onto the dough, leaving space between. Put the waxed or parchment paper back over the top and lightly roll with your rolling pin to press the herbs right into the dough.

Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out your circles. Remove the dough to a baking sheet. Reform the leftover dough, roll and repeat until all the dough is used.

Bake the shortbread for 10-15 minutes (mine needed 13 minutes), until they are just starting to turn pale golden around the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the pan, then remove to a rack. The shortbread will firm up as it cools.