rosemary gruyere and sea salt crisps

gruyere crisps 7

Pretty much every year, I get it into my head that I want to make a big Thanksgiving-style turkey dinner. Geography doesn’t allow me to host the holiday for either my family or my in-laws, so I usually end up doing it on a random weekend in December. This time I had to wait until January. (My “insane amount of time spent in the kitchen” project for December was the Star Wars cookies, and there wasn’t time for another big project.)

gruyere crisps 2

I had some friends over, and they brought the stuffing, but the rest was up to me. I spent almost one full day of a 3-day weekend preparing as much as I could ahead of time and the greater part of the next day cooking, then entertaining. It was glorious.

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I served these, along with glazed pecans and butternut squash phyllo cigars, as a snack before dinner (insurance against dinner being late – which, miracle of miracles, it wasn’t!). They’re a great recipe for a big meal like this, because almost all of the work can be done in advance – far in advance – and you still get to serve perfectly fresh crackers. I mixed, rolled, cut, docked, and froze the dough the weekend beforehand. The day of my dinner, all that was left to do was transfer the crackers to a baking sheet, spritz with water, and top with salt.  And beyond their convenience, their eminent snackability make these little grown-up Cheez-Its perfect for before a feast.

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One year ago: Chickpea and Rosemary Soup
Two years ago: Curry Coconut Chickpea Soup
Three years ago: Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Four years ago: Crispy Baked Chicken Strips
Five years ago: Caramel Flan

Printer Friendly Recipe
Rosemary Gruyere and Sea Salt Crisps (from Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)

6 ounces (1½ cups) shredded Gruyere cheese
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup (3.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary (from about 1 sprig)
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, processing continuously until the mixture resembles coarse, craggy crumbs, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large sheet of plastic wrap, gather it together into a ball, and flatten it into a thick square. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 15-20 minutes.

2. On a floured work surface, roll the dough to about ⅛-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Dock each cracker with a skewer, then brush with water and sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer the crackers to a parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned.

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  1. I can’t resist a recipe with Gruyere, these sound amazing! Love the shapes you chose too.

  2. These look so good! We eat a lot of crackers and cheese so I will definitely be trying these.

  3. I’m not much of a cracker person, but every once in a while they call my name. And these definitely do. So simple!

  4. Wow – yum, these sound incredible! Can’t wait to try them, and they are so cute!

  5. Suzswe says:

    What am I doing wrong – I made this and I could not get the dough to hold at all let alone roll it out. It was so dry I had to put it back into the food processor and add twice the amount of butter.

  6. Suzswe – It’s possible that processing the mixture longer would have helped. As the processor works, it heats and softens the butter, which can then hold onto more flour.

  7. Suzswe says:

    Thanks I’ll try that next time – saw someone else on line that said they added 2 more tablespoons of butter not the four I added.

  8. Windflower says:

    I just made a batch of these; I only had 5 ounces of gruyere so I increased the butter to 6 tablespoons and used two knives to mix it. Dried rosemary and thyme and an egg wash on top. The dough came together beautifully and I keep having to stop myself from eating them (they’re supposed to be for a dinner party tomorrow). Thank you for the recipe!