Lafitte Brand Hard Tack: Thyme and Gruyere Icebox Crackers!

There are certain things that, historically, it has never really occurred to me to cook at home. On this list: cheese; pretzels; crackers. I don’t know why; it’s not that I don’t think I’m up to the task, or that I’m not interested, but it’s just never seemed like a good return on energy investment.


Note: I am sometimes kind of dumb.

Now that we’ve established that, we can discuss the fact that in getting utterly out of hand, this bribe inspired me to push my boundaries, and one of these boundaries involved crackers. After all, it is important to give the judges a well-rounded bribe, resplendent in easy snacking. And what’s easier to snack upon than crackers? With that in mind, I turned to my File O’ Recipes and pulled out one from one of the patron saints of the Sexcamaids, Miz Martha Stewart (fun fact: the atrium at Martha Stewart Omnimedia has hosted many a mermaid practice–we owe a lot to Martha!) and her Thyme and Gruyere Crackers. They seemed like a perfect fit for our Pirate Picnic–no ship is complete without Hard Tack, after all!

If you’re looking to get into dabbling with crackers, I can’t imagine you getting off to a better start than these. Not only are they easy and delicious, but they can be done a few days in advance–a godsend if you’re preparing them as part of a party buffet, or at any other occasion where you know you’re going to have to take care of a lot of different dishes. The more you can front-load in these situations, the better, and the bribe was no exception. I actually ended up making the dough two days in advance, and I think it just got better for the rest.

And, I mean, really. Beyond their deliciousness, how cool did they look? The design of this tin was done by my lovely friend Ry; Bench was responsible for the bullet holes. I loved this box beyond all reasonable comprehension, and wanted to keep it for myself. Okay, yes, so, I wanted to keep them all for myself, but this one had a special place in my heart. Was it the bullet holes, or the crackers? Bake some and draw your own conclusions.

Note: I am lame and somehow lost all the pictures I took of the crackers. So you’ll just have to go to Martha’s site to see what they looked like.

Thyme and Gruyere Icebox Crackers

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup finely grated (2 1/2 ounces) Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

  1. It’s pretty simple: whack everything except the egg into a food processor. Blend until it looks like a dough.
  2. Roll it into a log about eight inches long; wrap it tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  3. Heat your oven to 325; cut the log o’ dough into slices 1/4″ thick. Bake for 22 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  4. Enjoy copiously with Muhammara or Krillcreme. I’ll explain later.
In baking, cheese, parties

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