Thursday, July 29, 2010

July Cookie Carnival—Pillsbury Oatmeal Raisin Cookies & Thyme-Cheese Crackers

We had two choices for the July Cookie Carnival this time around.   One was for Pillsbury's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  These are GREAT oatmeal cookies.  I made them back at the beginning of July for our family reunion and they were a big hit.  I’d also made some other oatmeal cookies for the same event and this Pillsbury recipe by far was better than the other.  These were the perfect thickness, crispiness, chewiness and had great taste.  I will for sure make this recipe again—over and over.

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Get the recipe off the Pillsbury link above, but know that I made a few small changes.  I used salted butter and omitted the salt in the recipe.  (Just happened to be what I had at the time.)  I also used white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour.  I would totally do that again—as soon as I find a store around here that sells white whole wheat flour.  I’m out and haven’t found any yet.  Sigh.  I haven’t looked farther than our two closest stores, so I know I’ll find it. 

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Another recipe we could choose to make for July for Cookie Carnival was for Rosemary-Cheese Spritz Cookies from the Food Network Kitchens.  I decided to make those, too.  But I’m not calling mine that.  They are hereafter known as Thyme-Cheese Crackers.  I don’t love the taste of rosemary.  Mostly when it’s the only herb in something.  I think it’s okay when it’s mixed with other herbs.  As I was making the dough for the crackers, I actually was just going to leave any herbs out, but as the mixer was stirring for the last few rounds, I decided to throw in some dried thyme.  (The rosemary recipes calls for fresh rosemary.  I wish I’d had some fresh thyme.)  I can’t wait to start growing some herbs here.  Probably won’t happen this summer, but I did just buy a few basil plants and a pot and started those growing.  Basil is probably my favorite herb.

Back to the crackers.  The original recipes has you make the dough and put it in a cookie press, which is why they call them cookies.  These are not cookies.  They are crackers.  Cheese crackers.  I don’t have a cookie press.  Someday.  I chilled the dough, rolled it out, froze it for 15 minutes or so, then cut shapes out of the dough.  (The cookie press dough was way too sticky to roll out as cut outs.)  I’ve made cheese crackers before.  They are good and a little addicting.  But the ones I’ve made before are made with cheddar cheese.  This recipe calls for Pecorino and Parmesan.  Yum.

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These are crispy and cheesy and flaky and again, addictive.  Here is the recipe as I made the crackers.  (I halved the recipe provided by Food Network.)

Thyme Cheese Crackers, by Katrina, adapted from Food Network-Rosemary Cheese Spritz Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 an egg yolk (1 yolk was 14 grams, so I used 7 grams of yolk)  (GET A KITCHEN SCALE!)

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons all purpose flour (105 grams)

6 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino cheese (30 grams)

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (28 grams)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (I’d double that next time or use 1 tablespoon fresh thyme)

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch freshly ground nutmeg

Beat the  butter and lemon zest with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Slowly beat in the egg yolk and cream.

Whisk the flour, cheeses, sugar, salt, thyme and nutmeg together in a bowl.  Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture while mixing slowly.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed until combined and dough is sticky.  Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Roll the dough onto a wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet dusted with a little flour to about 1/8-1/4 inch thickness.  Freeze the dough for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut the dough into desired shapes.  I just baked the scrap pieces in the shape they were in as well, instead of re-rolling it. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.  Let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  Store in airtight container for up to 1 month.

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Look it’s the Eiffel Tower!  Or a teepee.  Or, okay, it’s just a scrap.  Look it’s my goofy boys!

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Couldn’t leave Kevin out of the pictures.  He’ll be so happy that I put these pictures on the blog, he says I only ever put goofy pictures of him on here.  (You ever played Hawaiian Charades?  You must.)

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Love you, Hon!

20 comments:

♥peachkins♥ said...

oatmeal raisin is one of my favorite cookie flavor!

Jennifurla said...

Love the crackers, my daughter would love them

Wendy said...

Such a cute picture of your boys.. even if they are silly! =)

Eliana said...

Love, Love, Love. I'm a cookie (and cracker) lover.

steph said...

I am making the cheese crackers this weekend. They look good!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

These look scrumptious! I'd like to think it's an A, I love making A's for my name everywhere :P

Jacque said...

Oooh, bonus points for making both recipes! I didn't even get one of them made. They both sounds delish, I'll bet my boys would have loved the cheese crackers.

Leslie said...

Hilarious! I love the photos of the boys! And the cookies look delicious too! But the boys...priceless!

Linda www.mykindofcooking.com said...

I am so excited about winning your giveaway! Thank You!!!

Pam said...

Oh, they both look delicious! I love oatmeal raisin cookies and must try this!

Jill said...

The thyme-cheese crackers look so good! I believed that you had a tiny Eiffel Tower cookie cutter!

Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen said...

Your title grabbed my attention. We raised 3 boys and oh can I relate to your posts! Such a good life...enjoy every minute! My boys are married now and raising boys of their own!

Barbara Bakes said...

Fun pictures! I haven't had a good oatmeal cookie for a long time. I need to give this recipe a try.

Kerstin said...

Love that cute pic of your boys! And the crackers sound so tasty and addicting!

Tia said...

awesome! pillsbury rcipes are pretty good and these are no exception. Also, i've been wanting to use my cookie press so I'll definitely try the cheese cookies/crackers

rebecca said...

I was thinking maybe wishbone? Thanks for the comments about the spritz dough- I was wondering if it'd be too soft for a press- and since I was short on time and didn't want to monkey around, I picked the oatmeal cookies. Both your cookies look fantastic, and I particularly like your crackers!

Tessa said...

What a cute picture of your boys! I agree that the Pillsbury recipe is great! It was still good despite my having to adapt it to accommodate a dairy allergy (although I didn't get any pictures).

Vivian - Let's Try These... said...

I was also hesitant about making the crackers because I lacked a cookie press. Yours look yummy so just may have to try them out. Good choice with the thyme!

Tiffiny Felix said...

I love that you rolled out the cheese *crackers* and cut them with cookie cutters. I'm going to do that next time :)

Tiffany Winters said...

How do you play hawaiian charades?