Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Cheddar Rosemary Crackers -- #HappyNewYear!

LESLIE: Happy New Year’s Eve!

I have to admit I’ve always preferred staying home to going out on New Year’s Eve, and happily, Mr. Right agrees. That means we serve what we call “fun foods” and champagne or a special cocktail. But when I made these Cheddar Rosemary Crackers and asked Mr. Right what cocktail he thought would go well with them, he said “a martini.” Yes, indeed, but I’m not sure that warrants a recipe—gin, a splash of vermouth, and a stuffed green olive! Me, I’m looking forward to trying them on New Year’s Eve with a glass of bubbly.

We talk occasionally on the blog about whether using certain prepared or packaged ingredients is “cheating.” I rarely think so—except for pie crust, as I am proudly A Pie Snob—and I don’t mind admitting I bought a bag of shredded sharp Cheddar for these. If you’re the kind of cook who needs permission to “cheat,” well, you have mine.

This dough could easily be rolled out about 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter—a bell might be nice for New Year’s Eve.

Whether you stay home or head out amongst them, stay safe and enjoy! See you in 2020!

Cheddar Rosemary Crackers

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (4-5 sprigs)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
cold water

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and Cheddar on medium speed. In a separate bowl, stir together the rosemary, salt, pepper, and flour, and gradually add to the cheese and butter, on low. Add 1-2 tablespoons cold water and beat until mixture is well combined.

Turn half the dough out on to a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper, or plastic wrap. Shape into a log with your hands, then use the paper or wrap to smooth the log and wrap it. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking sheet. Slice the logs 1/4 inch thick and lay logs on the sheet, about an inch apart.

Bake until firm and lightly golden around the edges, 10-12 minutes. (The bottom won’t turn golden like a typical cookie.) Cool briefly on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Makes about 4 dozen. These keep nicely, well-wrapped, for about a week, and freeze well.

From the cover of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, Spice Shop Mystery #4 (Seventh St. Books): 

 Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother's house hunt, and a fisherman who's set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee's vintage home decor shop that ends in murder. 

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend - and Pepper herself.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story, and is now nominated for a Macavity award; read it on her website. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. Thanks for the recipe,I went ahead and pinned it .
    I can't wait to make them. I plan on putting my cozy pajamas on,eating goodies and having a good night!
    I hope Mr.Right and you have a Happy New Year's Eve !

    1. That sounds perfect! Enjoy, and Happy New Year's Eve back atchya!

  2. I love cheese crackers. And I even have rosemary growing outside. We haven’t had a hard freeze yet!

    1. You know, I love where we live, but if there's one reason to move to a warmer clime, the ability to grow fresh rosemary outside is pretty tempting! Add in a lemon tree and I'd be tempted!

  3. Looks delicious, perhaps minus the rosemary (not a favorite flavor in my house).

    1. Oh, P.S.
      "In the bowl of an electric,"
      I think you lost a noun here.

    2. Ah, thanks for the catch. Fixed! In lieu of rosemary, maybe some finely chopped pimento? Or a good dash of smoked paprika. Mmm!

  4. Leslie, could you substitute dried instead of fresh rosemary? We have a lemon tree, but somehow I manage to kill all the rosemary, the only one of the herb plants I have bad luck with! We're having a cozy New Years at home with family,(haven't had parties in several years) and hubby always gets me a bottle of champers and we toast as we watch the ball drop and kiss at 11pm our Central time, with Anderson Cooper on TV in Times Square!Fireworks are always on display nearby and we run out in the cold to look at them. Happiest wishes for a great New Year!

    1. Hmm. Not sure about that substitution, Lynn. I find dried rosemary works best in a blend and in something with a fair amount of liquid, like in a pasta sauce or eggs. I'd try a good dose of paprika, sweet or smoked, or finely chopped pimento instead. Happy New Year to you and your hunny!

  5. I'm excited to try these scrumptious looking crackers!