stick unsalted butter, room temperature
to 8 ounces blue cheese (Stilton or Maytag works great)
cup all-purpose flour
large egg beaten with 1 tbsp water for egg wash
cup roughly chopped walnuts
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and blue cheese together for 1 minute, or until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, salt and pepper and mix until it’s in large crumbles, about 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix until combined.
Dump the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll into a 12-inch long log. Brush the log completely with the egg wash. Spread the walnuts in a square on a cutting board and roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing lightly, and distributing them evenly on the outside of the log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut the log 3/8ths-inch thick with a small, sharp knife and place the crackers on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 22 minutes until very lightly browned. Rotate the pan once during baking. Cool and serve at room temperature.
More About This Recipe
- There are some things most of us take for granted in the kitchen.
Take aprons, for instance. Have you ever made your own apron? Maybe you have, but most of us buy them premade from the store. Or, have you ever made a spatula? Probably not (but if so, please tell me where you found a spatula mold!)
The same goes for food. Most of us have never made our own cereal, whipped up yogurt from scratch or sifted through seas for caviar. Oftentimes these things come prepackaged for us, and we don't think twice about it. Though there are many things we simply can't make or find on our own (like the caviar, for instance, unless you're a real go-getter), there are also many things we can make -- we just haven't made them yet.
For me, it was crackers. So when I decided to make these Blue Cheese & Walnut Crackers on my blog a while back, I knew I was entering into uncharted territory, one where I would forever leave behind buying prepackaged crackers from the store (most of the time. I have my lazy days). Making these crackers was so much easier than I anticipated -- just mix the dough, roll it up and refrigerate, slice and bake. Then, voila! You've got yourself a pretty platter of homemade snacks.
These crackers don't have to be made with blue cheese and walnuts, if that's not your cup of tea. A combination of cheddar and chives works well, too, or parmesan and thyme. And they taste even better with a homemade spread or dip. You can make a whole tasting plate full of foods you've never made before, until today. Crackers are just the first step. Next step: Homemade spatula.
Stephanie (aka Girl versus Dough) has joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie's Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
Roquefort Crackers Are the Greatest Recipe of All Time
You know those recipes we hold near and dear to our hearts because they are really the greatest ever of all time? Well, we're using this series as an opportunity to wax poetic about them. Today, Bon Appétit food director Carla Lalli Music gets nostalgic about buttery, salty, cheesy Roquefort crackers—which just may be the Greatest Recipe of All Time.
There are two things to know about Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house. The first is that one of my uncles will always be late—real late. This creates an extended period of time during which you’ll be exposed to the little Roquefort crackers my mom puts out during the apertivo hour. This is clearly a good thing, because the cheesy savory snacks are insanely delicious and salty and buttery and perfect with the crisp white wine my dad likes to pour. The downside is that they could easily ruin your dinner. I limit myself to three, then park on the opposite side of the room so I’m not tempted to have another.
I can’t remember a Thanksgiving without them, though I’ve never baked them myself—my mom, Carole Lalli, who had a career as a restaurant critic, food writer, and cookbook editor, makes them appear every year. When I asked her where they came from and how they became a classic, she went way back. Here’s how a recipe becomes a family favorite:
"Since 1985 we’ve had these Roquefort crisps with drinks before Thanksgiving dinner. That was the year I published the wonderful California American Cookbook, one of my first as a cookbook editor at Simon & Shuster. The recipe appealed to me for its rightness for the season and occasion, and for the fact that it involves butter and Roquefort cheese and just enough flour to hold them together. There’s a pinch of cayenne as well, and a sprinkle of poppy seeds. That’s it. I forget about the poppy seeds half the time but it doesn’t matter. The crisps keep well so I’ve gotten into the habit of doubling up we nibble on them through what’s referred to as Turkey Sandwich Weekend.
My daughters Nina and Carla were five and 13 years old in 1985 and they loved the crisps from the start, but it’s entered my mind from time to time that people might like a change. That was until a few years ago when Carla’s older son, who was then seven, burst into the kitchen just as the crisps were cooling. “Oh, I love these!” he said, grabbing one before his coat was off. Clearly they were already embedded in his memory and firmly linked to the holiday. The crisps stay in the picture."
Here's how to make them, as adapted from the California American Cookbook:
The key to a successful batch of Roquefort crackers is room-temperature ingredients: Both the blue cheese and the butter (yes, we said butter) should be soft and warm—cold dairy won't mix well. For roughly 60 small crackers, you'll need a ¼ pound of butter and a ½ pound of Roquefort cheese.
Use an electric mixer or some good, old-fashioned elbow grease to beat the two together, than add 1 cup of flour and a bit of cayenne, for kick. The original recipe calls for a ¼ teaspoon, but you may adjust to your—and your guests'—liking. Beat until smooth.
Divide the dough into two equally-sized pieces, then shape each one into a log (for 60 crackers, aim for 1½ inches wide) and wrap with wax paper. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400˚ and use a sharp knife to slice off ¼-inch thick rounds from the chilled logs. Place the cookies on a baking sheet, sprinkle with poppy seeds, and bake for 8 minutes, keeping a close eye. Cool completely before eating or storing in an airtight container.
Blue Cheese and Walnut Cracker Recipe from the 3/20/12 Meeting
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for the egg wash
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and blue cheese together for 1 minute, or until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, salt and pepper and mix until it’s well mixed. Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix until combined. With a bit of strength, you can probably do this by hand.
Remove the dough and put it on a well floured board or surface. Press it into a ball, and roll into a 12-inch long log. Brush the log completely with the egg wash. Spread the walnuts on a square on a cutting board and roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing lightly, and distributing them evenly on the outside of the log. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the log 3/8ths-inch thick with a sharp knife and place the crackers on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a baking stone. If the dough becomes hard to handle, re-refrigerate for 15 minute increments. Bake for 22 minutes until very lightly browned. Rotate the pan once during baking. Cool and serve at room temperature.
Walnut and Cheese Crackers
There is everything to love about crackers that combine cheese and walnuts here at Quillisascut Farm. These two cracker recipes, Quillisascut Blue Cheese and Walnut and Quillisascut Viejo Walnut, share those sentiments. Walnuts and cheese crackers at Quillisascut Farm
The blue cheese recipe is a savory shortbread that melts in your mouth. This is a modified recipe from All recipes
Blue Cheese Walnut Cracker
1/2 cup unsalted butter
*8 ounces Quillisascut blue cheese
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 egg white plus 1 Tablespoon water (whisk together for egg wash)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Salt for topping
If your walnuts are in large pieces, place them in the food processor and process until they are finely chopped. Remove from processor and set aside.
Put butter, blue cheese, flour, salt and pepper in food processor bowl and process until combined. Roll in quarter sized log and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Brush on egg wash and roll in walnuts. Slice thin, place on parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until they have a little color. Remove and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
* for a milder version try replacing the blue cheese with a Quillisascut Farmer Cheese
Walnut Blue Cheese Crackers Quillisascut Style
The next recipe is a thick and crunchy style cracker that features Quillisascut Viejo cheese, with walnuts incorporated in the dough.
Quillisascut Viejo Cheese
Walnut Viejo Cheese Crackers
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups shredded Quillisascut Viejo cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup of water
Mix together all the dry ingredients, then pour in the water and stir until incorporated.
Let rest for 15 minutes
Roll out on a floured surface to your preferred thickness. Cut into small 1 inch rounds, use a cute small cookie cutter or simple squares. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until firm.
Cool on wire rack, store in a air tight container.
Walnuts and Viejo Cheese Cracker from Quillisascut Farm
Next time I am going to try substituting 1/2 cup of our walnut flour in both of these cracker recipes, to replace that amount of wheat flour.
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Stilton and Walnut Crackers
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H, 10 M
- About 30 crackers
Ingredients US Metric
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz), at room temperature
- 8 ounces (12 ounces or so with the rind) Stilton cheese, crumbled, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cheese together until smooth, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low, add the flour, salt, and pepper and continue beating for about 1 minute, until the dough is in large crumbles. Add 1 tablespoon cold water and mix until the dough comes together. If necessary, add a little more water, a few drops at a time. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and roll it into a 12-inch-long log.
Spread the walnuts on a cutting board. Lightly brush the surface of the log with the egg wash, turning to coat all sides. Roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing lightly, to distribute them evenly all over the surface of the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use a small sharp knife to cut the log into 3/8-inch-thick slices and arrange the crackers on the parchment. Bake for 22 minutes, until very lightly browned, rotating the sheet once during baking. Let the crackers cool on the baking sheet. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
We wanted a couple of small plates to serve with cocktails and wine before Thanksgiving dinner. This Stilton “cookie” did the job perfectly. The combination of a strong Stilton and walnuts resulted in a salty, savory bite that stood up to the drinks. I would definitely make this again for a party. They were very easy to make and would be low-stress for hostesses. Great recipe!
I used a convection oven at 350°F and we added another 3 minutes of baking time to get an even golden brown color. If I were making these crackers again, I might try quickly rolling out the dough to the desired thickness and using a biscuit cutter to make uniform shapes. Also, I would work the walnuts into the dough rather than keep them separate on the outside of the dough log.
These Stilton and walnut crackers are the perfect little nibble before a big meal! We loved the tangy taste of the blue cheese and the walnuts crusting the outside, which makes for a prettier finished product and easier slicing. The crackers were buttery and delicious. This recipe will stay close by for the holidays and I’ll keep rolls frozen for drop-in guests!
Ina does it again, not surprisingly. These Stilton and walnut crackers are easy to put together, store well in the freezer, and look beautiful once baked. Everyone loves them and oohs and ahhs over how pretty they are. Make them, for sure!
I must confess that I’ve never been a follower of Ina Garten, as her whole gig seems a bit precious to me. That said, whenever I try one of her recipes, I find it to be both delicious and rather well crafted and well written. I’m happy to report that this simple yet delicious recipe lives up to that standard and delivers a very tasty treat with hardly any work at all.
These crackers are an excellent take on the classic flavor combination of Stilton and walnuts, and would be a welcome addition to any cocktail party or holiday spread. The Stilton certainly rules the roost here, with the walnuts playing second fiddle yet offering a lovely textural contrast to the shortbread-like feel of the cracker. The dough comes together beautifully and is a breeze to work with, rolling with ease to form a thick, foot-long log. Mine sat in the fridge for about 2 hours before I cut it into medallions for baking. At 3/8 inch thickness, it feels more like a cookie than a cracker to me. I’m curious to try it again with a thinner cut to see if it results in more of a crunchy wafer.
This is not a cracker for the faint of heart. If you aren’t a big fan of blue cheese, this cracker may be too much for you because it is a Stilton buzz-bomb of a thing. My only word of caution about this recipe: Mine turned out a touch on the salty side (and I am a salt lover) which may be attributable to the particular brand of cheese I used, but I will likely cut the salt by about 1/4 teaspoon the next time I make these. All in all, two big thumbs up for an easy, yet impressive (hey, how many people make their own crackers?) addition to your holiday offerings.
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These delectable crackers are a HUGE hit every time I make them. They are wonderful with wine and cocktails, but also on the side of a green salad with tart apple slices. A couple of pointers I noted on my copy of the recipe are: 1) use only 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 2) space the crackers about an inch apart on the sheet pan as they spread a bit in the oven. You can certainly use milder blue cheese if Stilton is too strong for you and your guests, and I have used chopped pecans instead of walnuts for a sweeter tenderer crunch. I’ve also learned that the dough freezes very well, and that it doesn’t affect the baking time. Thoughtfully packaged, unbaked crackers have been appreciated as gifts to keep in the recipients’ freezers any number of crackers are ready to be baked later for any last-minute gathering. Chill and slice the dough, put pieces of parchment between the slices to prevent sticking, and tightly wrap the logs (individually) in plastic wrap. Write “Frozen slices 1-inch apart on baking sheet. 22 min @ 350°F” on freezer tape and affix it to the logs.
Chiyo, thanks for your comment and wonderful suggestions. I have a hunch there might be a slew of cracker dough gifts this season, thanks to you!