Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crackers for McSweeney's

An afternoon off had me perusing my daughters bookshelf where I found another reason to love McSweeney's. Their quarterly review is a collection of stories presented in packaging as creative as the writing inside. Issue #16 is a beautiful cloth covered volume that opens into 4 pockets, one containing a volume of short stories. one is a slim novella (which is hilarious, by the way) the third is a story written on oversized playing cards which can be sorted any which way to make it a little different with each read. The fourth pocket contains a simple black comb engraved with the name Timothy. (Timothy McSweeney being the inspiration for the publishing house' name) I thought, as I looked through this 'book' That I had just met my soul mate in a publisher. These are obviously people who think outside the box! I was thinking outside the box this week, too. The cracker box, that is. Commercially made crackers always confound me. They are so expensive and then mostly disappointing once you do make the investment. So I decided to try my hand at some homemade cheesy crackers. I thought maybe I'd send some to McSweeney's to profess my undying love, but they were so good I ate them all. Too bad Timothy, maybe next time.
Cheesy Crackers outside the box:

In a food processor combine: 
8 tablespoons cold butter (1/4 #)
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, also grated
pulse until combined. 
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt 
pulse again until combined. 
Pull dough from processor and wrap tightly
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out on a well floured board into a rectangle until very thin. 
To 1/16 inch or so. Prick the surface all over with a fork. (this is called 'docking')
brush over the surface with egg wash (one egg, a little water mix well), 
sprinkle with a little salt.
Cut into squares, I found my pizza cutter invaluable for this!
Then transfer to a baking sheet using a log metal spatula so you can pick up a whole row at a time.
Bake in a preheated oven 350 degrees for 10 minutes spin tray and bake 5-8 minutes more until golden.
Let cool completely before boxing them up...if there are any left, that is!


maya grace said...

i am so glad you found them!
also. crackers. yum.

Shawn said...

Did you know that McSwys is publishing a food quarterly now? Lucky Peach! I haven't picked it up yet but I want to.

ChazFrench said...

Hi, what's the yield of the recipe?

I cook at a preschool, and I'm always looking for new bread & cracker recipes.


Carri said...

Shawn, Yes! Love Lucky Peach...did a write up on the bakes blog 'cause it's too cool for people to not know about. Making Ramen nudes at'll have to try that recipe. so worth it.
Chaz...I got 4 total 1/2 sheet pans of crackers, size of cracker would depend on how you cut them. It also depends on how thin you go with the dough...thinner would give a super crisp cracker, use a pasta roller, that's what I'm going to do next time! Let me know how they work for you. Thanks for cooking with us!