Have you ever tried making homemade crackers? You might be surprised by how easily they come together! These parmesan shortbread crackers are a unique, fun party appetizer that can be prepared in advance. They’re a great combo to serve with white wine!
I remember the first time I brought these homemade crackers to a party. One of my friends, who doesn’t really cook or bake, looked at them with confusion and said, “You made crackers?” I could tell her unspoken question was “Why would you bother doing that?”
Believe it or not, homemade crackers are easy, and I love having control over the flavor and shape. These savory shortbread crackers have a texture that’s almost identical to sweet shortbread (maybe a bit flakier?), and they’re packed with flavor.
Parmesan adds salt and umami, the fresh rosemary and thyme add an earthy flavor, and ground black pepper adds a subtle heat at the end.
- If your grocery store carries it, I recommend using a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese instead of regular parmesan. It has such a nutty, rich flavor that really enhances the flavor.
- If you don’t like rosemary and/or thyme, you can try swapping them out for different herbs. I’ve made a variation on this recipe using cheddar cheese and chives, which is also a tasty combo. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way with fresh herbs.
- I used a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter, but you can make these larger or smaller if you prefer. It may alter the bake time by a few minutes, so if you adjust the size, use the oven light and keep an eye on them. You’re looking for a golden color on the bottom with tops that are just starting to change color.
How to Measure Flour
For baked goods (as well as desserts like custard and ice cream), I always recommend using a kitchen scale to measure flour by weight instead of volume. Weight (ounces, grams, etc) will always give an accurate measurement of dry goods; volume (cups) can create varied results.
A cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 3 1/2 to 5 ounces. That could make a big difference in your recipe! If you still want to use cups, there’s a proper technique to make sure you get the best results possible.
My post How to Measure Flour explains all of this in more detail.
More Shortbread Recipes
If you like these shortbread crackers, you may also enjoy some of my shortbread cookie recipes! Check out my Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies, Cardamom Vanilla Bean Toasted Coconut Shortbread, and Pecan Pie Bars (with a shortbread crust)!
Parmesan, Rosemary and Thyme Shortbread
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups; grate it yourself for the best flavor)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 6 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon water
- Place the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed until creamy. Add the parmesan, salt, pepper, herbs and flour one at a time until evenly combined. Last, add 1 tablespoon of water to help bring the dough together.
- Flatten the dough and wrap in plastic film. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, place a rack on the center shelf and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface (or between two sheets of parchment paper), roll the dough to approximately 1/4-inch thick. Use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make small crackers, re-rolling the dough as needed. (An alternative method is to chill the dough in the shape of a log and then slice it, but the rounds might not be as uniform).
- Place the crackers on the prepared sheet pan (they shouldn't spread much, but leave a bit of room to be safe). Chill for 15 minutes, then bake until lightly golden on the bottom, 16-21 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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