Saturday, March 17, 2007

Blue Cheese & Wild Mushroom Crackers

Although the holidays are well over, the gifts I received just keep on giving. My mom went crazy picking out kitchen goodies: a sharp and shiny mandoline, a crock pot (which I have already made pulled pork in), canning tools (more pear & jasmine tea jam + new varieties on the way), countless ceramic baking dishes and even a cheese making kit: about two years from now, I will post the results of my cheddar cheese making efforts. And with the little bit of Christmas moolah I got, I bought a beautiful, cobalt, 3-1/2 quart, Le Crueset wide French oven that I found at less than half price at Marshalls—it definitely goes down as the deal of 2006.

As well, many of the recipes I made for holiday parties have lingered on, sneaking into my pre-spring repertoire. I’m over the cookies for a while, but the crackers continue to be perfect for parties and gifts. The cracker recipe I like most came from Martha Stewart Living. I can't say that I'm a regular Martha reader. No matter how beautiful all of her projects are, they usually seem unrealistic to me: no one has that much time to stencil and make candles. But I have to give Martha credit. Every time I read a copy, I always find at least one great recipe that becomes a staple. Blue Cheese & Wild Mushroom Crackers are the latest.

Blue Cheese & Wild Mushroom Crackers
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December 2006


- ¼ oz (about ½ cup) dried wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle or porcini
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1-¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup whole milk
- coarse salt


1) Preheat oven to 350.

2) Finely grind dried mushrooms in a spice grinder.

3) Toss butter and cheese into the food processor and mix until smooth.

4) Add flour, mushroom powder, and pepper, and mix until just combined.

5) Add milk, and mix just until mixture comes together. The dough will be stiff.

6) Divide dough into 3 discs. Make 3 rolls, 1 to 1-½ inches wide, wrap in parchment paper, and put in fridge for 1-2 hours.

7) Take from fridge. Cut thin, 1/16 inch crackers. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently pierce with a fork 2 times. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

8) Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

A note on dried mushrooms:
I picked up a nice, inexpensive blend from Cost Plus/World Market. Trader Joes is another good place to stock up on little packets of dried mushrooms.

A note on grinding mushrooms:
Speaking from experience: do not use your flour sifter. It worked (kinda) but it is now my mushroom sifter, not my flour sifter anymore.

A note on cutting the dough:
After taking the dough from the fridge, cut as soon as possible and cut as quickly as possible.

Check out my friend Ann Le’s fabulous new website: L.A. Lunchbox.

And don’t forget that it’s time to make your limoncello if you’re going to have it ready for summer sipping!

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