Kale and Parmesan Cheese Crackers
Yields: about 6 cups Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
Kale and Parmesan cheese complement each other well as they come together with half whole wheat flour to create a tasty and savory cracker.
1/2 cup chopped kale, tightly packed
1 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus a few tablespoons for garnish if desired
3 tablespoons butter, melted or softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 -2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1. Remove stems from kale and roughly chop. Place in food processor with Parmesan cheese, melted butter, olive oil and water. Pulse a few moments until well combined.
2. Combine whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and onion powder and mix well.
3. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the food processor and process until combined. It may be necessary to pause the pulsing to scrape the sides and begin again. Be cautious to not over process.
4. Place dough back in dry ingredient bowl, cover with a towel and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from refrigerator and divide dough in half. Roll out dough (one half at a time) to about 1/8 of an inch, even a little thinner for crispier crackers. It may be necessary to dust the rolling pin and/or rolling surface with some extra flour (all purpose is less bitter, with a more neutral flavor).
6. Using a hand-held pizza cutter, roll through the dough, creating 1 inch by 1 inch crackers.
7. Gently place dough on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined cookie sheet. Crackers can be close together, as they do not spread. If desired, crumble a bit of Parmesan cheese over the top of the crackers.
*You could also poke holes in the dough so the crackers are flatter, and don’t puff as much. It’s not a huge difference with this recipe, but it does make a slight difference. I did not poke holes in the crackers in the final photo.
8. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 9-11 minutes, depending on oven and desired crispiness.
9. Remove from oven a let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to three days. If there is more dough from step 5, repeat steps 5 through 9.
Finally – these were a success. Sometimes recipes come together for me the first time. Other times, it takes weeks and multiple tries. This was one of those recipes. So, when this batch came out, I was waiting for some feedback.
My husband grabbed a handful and I asked him what he thought. As I was waiting on his response, he grabbed another handful and kept munching. I gave him an expectant look, and he said he was still thinking. By the time his third handful reached his mouth, I realized these were a keeper. He likened them to a certain popular cheese fish cracker, and suggested I cut mine out in such a shape.
Yeah, ok. In my extra free time, I’ll find a mini fish cookie cutter and roll out and cut out mini fish. (I scoff now, but give me 6 months, and I’ll probably have a mini fish cookie cutter…)
Anyway, these were a hit. As you can see from the photos, I had a hard time getting my photos without little hands getting in! So, yes, the final product was great. Although, it took a few trial and error recipes before I landed on this one. So, with trial and error, also comes great suggestions and insight, so here I go.
Originally, I took the recipe straight through, and this time I actually refrigerated the dough for about 30 minutes before rolling out, and I think it really helped. Additionally, I added a little more water and a tablespoon more butter the third time around, and it really made a different. The crackers are a little bit crispy and yet have a component of softness from the water, butter and olive oil, making for a perfect savory morsel.
Lastly, the salt. The first time, I didn’t add enough salt. The second time, I added more salt and more cheese, making for a teeny bit too much salt (although, there was some discrepancy on this issue). Point is, the verdict came in somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 teaspoons of salt. And although the salt does act as a preservative, I wouldn’t keep these much past 3 days in an airtight container. There is no health concern for spoilage, simply a taste change as the cracker may get stale. All in all, these are great for a casual play date and equally, they work well to enhance an elegant dinner party with a personal (and healthier) touch!
Some more healthy & delicious snacks:
Toasty Tamari Roasted Almonds (GF, VG)
Crispy Roasted Beet Chips (GF, VG)