Cheddar & Fennel Seed Crackers

Cheddar and Fennel Seed Crackers  @lemonsanchovies

 

Life is finally returning to normal after vacation.  The work week came and went, the bills that piled up in the mail have been paid, the jet lag is gone and I’m back in the kitchen.  When I left in late August summer was in full swing but it was fall that greeted me when I stepped off the plane.

I was hoping for one or two more summer recipes to share–something with peaches, maybe or, I dared hope that there would be enough left of my tomatoes to harvest.  As expected, despite the net I draped over my tomato plants the deer had a feast while we were away.  I didn’t want to trouble the house sitter to babysit the tomatoes, too, and boy, did the deer take advantage of it.  There was nothing left but the stems.  The plants were picked clean.  The discovery was not as disheartening as it has been in the past.  I’ve made peace with sharing my home with them.  Since it’s mating season now the male deer have staked our yard as their hang-out spot.  Hearing or seeing very little human activity in the yard the last few weeks relaxed them into feeling like this place was really theirs and they’ve been parading on the patio and browsing brazenly just outside my kitchen window.

 

Cheddar and Fennel Seed Crackers  @lemonsanchovies

 

But even without a summer pie or a tomato harvest there are plenty of other things to make me happy in the kitchen.  Apples, pears, pumpkin and one of my favorite year-round treats:  crackers.  If you’ve been visiting me for a while you know my love of homemade crackers.  What’s so wonderful about them is that they’re very easy to make.  One base recipe can be used for countless flavor combinations.  This time I chose to highlight a current obsession:  fennel.  I’ve been cooking with fennel bulbs and enjoying a seeded baguette (fennel, sesame and poppy seed) with tea all week.  Naturally, I wondered if the fennel seeds would pair well with a cheesy cracker.  You might have already guessed that the two would go well together but I haven’t always been a fan of fennel’s licorice flavor; it’s only over the last few years that I’ve grown to love it.  And this week it seems I can’t get enough.  I actually craved it!  I added fennel to a pasta dish this week and my husband and I both loved it.  But that is for another post.

I share this cracker recipe with as much enthusiasm as I’ll have for the upcoming pasta dish.  Who knew cheddar and fennel seed would pair so deliciously together?  With just the right amount of the latter the effect is subtle, without the licorice flavor overwhelming your taste buds.  The cheese is not overpowering either though I used extra sharp cheddar (the recipe should be flexible enough for an extra ounce of cheese if that is what you would prefer).

These biscuit-like crackers would be perfect served with wine, cheese and fruit.  They have a mildly crumbly texture but are sturdy enough not to fall apart when you bite into them.  And there is only a handful of ingredients.  Your stand mixer will do the work to combine them in just a couple of minutes.  All you have to do is roll the dough, chill it, slice and bake.  Perfect for a dinner party and your guests will be impressed.  I guarantee it.

 

Cheddar and Fennel Seed Crackers  @lemonsanchovies

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cheddar & Fennel Seed Crackers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serve these very easy to make crackers at your next dinner party and your guests will be impressed, guaranteed.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (grated with a Microplane grater for finer shreds)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (plus more for sprinkling, optional)
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch kosher salt (skip this if you use salted butter)
  • A pinch or two of freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about one minute. With the mixer on low speed, add the cheese, salt, pepper and fennel seeds just until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Then add the flour, the mixer still on low speed, and turn off the mixer once the mixture is in large crumbles, about one minute.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, press into a ball then roll it into a 9-inch log. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before slicing and baking.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350℉. Slice the dough into roughly ⅜-thick rounds and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can sprinkle more fennel seeds on top of the rounds if you wish.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the cooking time, until very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and serve at room temperature. You can store these in an airtight container for a couple of days. Makes about 24 rounds.

 

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Comments

  1. What tasty crackers, I love that you added sharp cheddar – it’s hard to go wrong with that cheese!

  2. Ooof sorry about no tomatoes. My summer plants (the ones that survived anyways) are dwindling as well. Just means more space for fall plants!

  3. These sound so unique! I would love to try something like this!

  4. I love this kind of homemade cracker. I have a recipe that I make with cheddar, pecans and shallots. It is great to have the logs in the freezer to pull out as needed. Love your blog.

  5. They look so good with, like the addition of fennel. Home made crackers are so special, these sure would go lovely with a glass of wine or plain old tea.

  6. I’ve never been a fennel fan – due to my dislike of licorice. But I think you’ve convinced me to give fennel, at least, a second chance. These crackers are beautiful!

  7. Glad things are returning back to normal! These crackers look amazing. I love making my own, but I don’t do it nearly enough.

  8. I am so glad that you enjoyed your fab vacation. Your crackers look divine, just perfect for picnic or a snack! Thank you for sharing Jean and have a lovely week!

  9. Welcome back! Glad to see you back in the kitchen and making some delicious things. You are the cracker queen and these are simply mouthwatering. Loving the rose wine in the background – one of my favs! These are a must make!

  10. Every time I see you share crackers, I think I really need to try my hand at those. They look really tasty. Glad you had a wonderful trip.

  11. I’m glad things are returning to your normal routine, I’m sure that feels good-I love to travel but it’s always good to come home and ease back in to our routines! Your homemade crackers are always a delight Jean and these are no exception with the fennel seeds and sharp cheddar, yum delicious flavors. I’m headed out to the airport today headed to Frankfurt for adventures in both Germany and France, following in your footsteps,lol! I will think of you and maybe even fly over your house..those pesky deer, we have a tall fence around our garden ;)

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Patty, how exciting! I’m jealous of all the delicious bread you’ll be eating in Germany and in France. Bon voyage and I look forward to seeing your travel pics!!

  12. I love cedar!!! these cookies could be really tasty!!!
    I want to try them!!!
    Chiara
    ♡EFFENSHION

  13. It usually takes more than a week or two to get back to normal life after holidays, especially when seasons have changed. Having said that, these are fabulous crackers, perfect for starting Autumn.

  14. I saw them on Instagram and immediately fell in love! Gotta try them!

  15. These are so awesome!!! I saw these on instagram too, sooo delicious!

  16. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Sharp cheddar and fennel in a fabulous little cracker…oh, yes! I would love a few now to snack on in between breakfast and lunch. I hardly every make crackers and want to make every single one of yours, Jean!

  17. How do you make your cookies / crackers so perfectly rounded? I’m jealous! Glad to have you back to blogging after your month-long vacation! Did I tell you how green with envy I am? But I am happy for you and it seems like you had fun in the South of France! Welcome back!

  18. Too bad about your plants, keeping the animals out sometimes is the toughest part. These crackers sound perfect for this season. I cant wait to try this one out. Also, something that you could probably keep in the fridge and bake as you would like them.

  19. Those sound perfect with a nice glass of wine as a pre-dinner nibble!

  20. I just died for some when I saw this at first, Jean. Would be perfect with some cheese as a mid afternoon pick me up. I love the idea of baking savory cookies/cracker but for some odd reason I never do it. Thanks for this it encourages me to do so.

Trackbacks

  1. […] using my favorite seeded sourdough baguette with fennel, poppy and sesame seeds. I baked these Cheddar and Fennel Seed crackers and I was so happy with them that each time I passed by the kitchen counter I walked away with one […]

  2. […] the blog Lemons & Anchovies) . ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (grated with […]

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