Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twelve Pounds of Flour Later...

...and the oven is getting a wee bit of a break...well, not so much, I'm roasting peppers in it at the moment.  Since the month started, it's been a pretty non-stop whirlwind of sugar, flour, butter and baking powder in the kitchen.  This year I've also been a little obsessed with baking savouries....we're talking crackers.    I'll be honest...I've been pretty selfish with those.  Oh biscuits have found there way into goodie baskets for the family and my Girls...but the crackers don't get much further than me.  They're so easy to make and you can add pretty much anything to the basic dough.

I originally made Olive and Rosemary crackers from The Purple Foodie last year and loved them.  I made more yesterday.  But it was a couple of weeks ago when I was looking through my King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion book and found the recipe for Sesame Thins.  It doesn't get much easier than flour, water, oil, salt and sesame seeds.  I'll tell you one reason I love this recipe.  It's yeast-less.  I'm still working on the yeast-baking skills and it's going all right.  I made grissini the other day and they turned out wonderfully.  Though I'm the only one that knows it.  (Selfish again...I'm not afraid to admit it!)

I played with that Sesame Thins recipe.  I have a jar of blue cheese stuffed olives in the fridge and after a Friday night dirty martini I thought how cool would that be in a cracker?   Whether the people at Ketel One vodka thought that's where their product would wind up, I don't know...but it's a winner with me.  Of course, you can make them without the alcohol as it only gives it a slight punch in taste to the cracker, but if you're so inclined to make a little something fun for your holiday cocktail party...try it.  Or be totally selfish, buy a nice wedge of aged provolone from the neighbourhood Italian deli and make a dinner out of cheese and crackers.

Dirty Martini Crackers
(Adapted from King Arthur Flour's Sesame Thins)

1/2 cup chopped green olives (stuffed or not)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons vodka (optional)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup water

Add 2 tablespoons of vodka to the chopped olives and let marinate for about an hour.  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix flour, salt, and oil in a bowl and combine with fingers until you have a crumbly dough.  Add olives, garlic and the last 2 tablespoons of vodka.  Work with fingers to combine.  Start with a half cup of water to bring all the ingredients together to make a more cohesive dough.  If still dry, add more water slowly.  Knead for a couple of minutes, then turn dough onto a flour-covered board.  

Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness or less.  Cut into whatever shapes you like.  I used a small  (1.5 inch) biscuit cutter with the fluted edges.  You can also just lay the rolled dough onto a baking sheet and cut with a pizza cutter.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes until bottoms are golden brown.  Definitely begin to check on them at the 25-minute mark depending upon how hot your oven runs.  

Dirty Martini Crackers

Sesame Thins and Olive Rosemary Crackers
Chocolate Crackles
Earl Grey Cookies

Grissini with Smoked Salt
Cherry Chestnut Drops
Cinnamon Shortbread

1 comment:

  1. Dirty martini crackers?! I need to make these! Your foods look delicious. The Earl Gray cookies look so uniform and pretty!