Sunday, April 19, 2020

Herb Crackers from Cheryl Hollon plus #giveaway

Maddie Day here, delighted to welcome my good friend Cheryl Hollon as our guest! She has a new series and a giveaway, too.

This is Cheryl Hollon, waving to all of you who are staying home to flatten the curve. Not a sentence I ever thought I would write.
In these interesting times, I’m doing a lot more baking – more than I have been for the holiday season in December! Anyway, I have found these crackers to touch all the comfort bases. A very short list of ingredients, a simple recipe, and I can do the whole thing in less than thirty minutes. Enjoy!
Homemade Herb Crackers

3 cups all-purpose flour, or a mixture of all-purpose and whole grain flours
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon herb seasoning
Parchment Paper
Baking Sheets
Mixing Bowl
Measuring Cups
Measure Spoons
Rolling Pin
Pastry Brush
Pizza Cutter or Sharp Knife
Dinner Fork
Cooling Rack
Airtight Container


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Position the bottom rack to the lower third of the oven. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the baking sheet.

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add the oil and water to the flour mixture. Stir until the flour is incorporated. If flour remains in the bowl, add more water a tablespoon at a time until a sticky dough ball is formed.

Divide the dough in half and shape one portion into a flat square. Sprinkle your work surface as well as your rolling pin with a little flour.

Roll out the dough working from the center out shaping it into a 1/8 inch thick or thinner rectangle. The thinner the dough the crisper the cracker.

Brush the surface of the dough very lightly with water. Shake the herbs onto the surface of the dough in an even coverage. See the Note for topping ideas.

Using the pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into individually shaped crackers. You can make squares, diamonds, rectangles, or use cookie cutters.

Transfer the crackers to a baking sheet then prick each cracker with the tines of the dinner fork to prevent them from puffing up too much.

Bake the crackers for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are browned. Thinner crackers will bake quicker so you can remove them and continue baking the thicker ones. While the first batch is baking, roll out and cut the remaining dough.

When the crackers are browned to your preference, transfer to a wire rack to cool. They can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days. If they turn a little less-than-crispy, reheat in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes.

Makes about 50

Note: My husband and I love these crackers with chili and also with soup. They look fabulous on a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses. For a variation, I top the crackers with kosher salt, chili powder, or a Greek seasoning. It’s extremely flexible and lends itself to experimentation. Have fun!

And now, a little bit of information about my brand-new mystery series:
Artist Miranda Trent inherits her uncle’s farm located in eastern Kentucky – right smack dab in the Daniel Boone National Forest. She starts a cultural adventure business which combines an outdoor painting class followed by a southern cooking lesson and paired with a moonshine tasting. She calls it Paint-n-Shine.
The first book in the series, Still Knife Painting, releases on June 30, 2020, and is available for pre-order at the following links:

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover! Here’s the cover copy:

Miranda Trent has set up a sweet life in a scenic corner of Appalachia—until she stumbles across the trail of a killer . . .
After inheriting her uncle’s Red River Gorge homestead in Eastern Kentucky—smack dab in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest—Miranda comes up with a perfect business plan for summer tourists: pairing outdoor painting classes with sips of local moonshine, followed by a mouthwatering sampler of the best in southern cooking.
To Miranda’s delight, Paint & Shine is a total success—until someone kills the cook. As the town’s outsider, suspicion naturally falls on Miranda. Murdering the best biscuit baker of Red River Gorge is a high crime in these parts. Miranda will have to prove her innocence before she’s moved from farmhouse to jail cell faster than she can say “white lightning” . . .

There’s a giveaway! Leave a comment to this blog and your email address in the form of name(AT)server(DOT)com to avoid the SPAM bots. This is a US only giveaway. Do this by midnight on April 20 for the chance to win a signed Advanced Review Copy of Still Knife Painting.

About the author:

Cheryl Hollon writes full time after leaving an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling a lifetime dream, she combines her love of writing with a passion for art, cooking, and outdoor adventures.
Cheryl is Past President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. A mystery conference addict, she regularly attends SleuthFest in Florida, Malice Domestic in DC, ThrillerFest in NYC, and Magna Cum Murder in Indianapolis, IN . You will also find her at Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon, wherever they are being held.
Cheryl and her husband live in St. Petersburg, FL.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for have me as a guest, Edith. These crackers have been wonderful with wine and cheese. Warning, they don't last us very long.

  2. Art and moonshine out in the woods? Sounds like fun!

    1. I've taken to halving the recipe as a desperate measure to control my waistline. LOL.

  3. This book sounds so good! Crackers do too!

    1. Thanks. The book takes me back to my wonderful barefoot summers in the Kentucky hills. Good Luck!

  4. The herb crackers sound delicious. A must try. What an ideal business to have in Paint and Shine. There isn't a better setting to be creative in. robeader53(at)

    1. I am having enormous fun with this series. Art, cooking, moonshine cocktails. Research isn't work at all. Good Luck!

  5. Thank you Cheryl for the Homemade Herb Crackers recipe! It goes to prove that delicious doesn't have to take all day. Plus nothing beats homemade. I will definitely be trying these and from the sound of it I would wager that it's added to my permanent recipe binder.

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read your new book "Still Knife Painting". It's been on my TBR list since I first read about it. Someone is going to be very fortunate in winning an ARC. Shared and hoping to be that very lucky one. :)

    Love your books!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thanks for the good wishes, Kay. It's a challenging time for authors, I'm buying more from my local book store. She delivers them on a bicycle! Good Luck!

  6. This sounds like a unique setting. Do you include recipes? suefoster109 at gmail dot com

    1. Yes, there are recipes in the back of each book. They're from memories of my grandmother's good farm-to-table cooking. Good Luck in the drawing.

  7. The crackers sound good. The book too.
    Wskwared at yahoo dot com

  8. Cheryl, congrats on the new series! Woot! Love the title. And the theme. Have a bunch of fun promoting. ~ Daryl

    1. Thank you so much Daryl. Promoting is going to be a challenge, but all things writerly are usually a challenge.

  9. Those crackers sound yummy! And the book sounds very intriguing!! Love that it will feature recipes too! ladyofshalott03(at) . Tysm for the chance to win!

    1. These crackers are indeed yummy AND simple. Good Luck in the drawing.

  10. Red River Gorge, painting, and moonshine! Sounds like a winning combo to me.

    Cheryl, is it absolutely necessary to include the sugar? Because other than that small detail, the crackers sound wonderful.

    k maslowski at fuse dot net

    1. Hi Karen, there's no reason not to try it without the sugar. I would perhaps start with 1/2 of the recipe so you won't waste much if you don't like it. Good Luck.

  11. Love the setting and premise of this book! Would love to read it! And the crackers look delicious! Trying it and passing it on to my daughter! Thanks!

  12. These sounds delicious. Thanks for the chance.

    1. They are absolutely delicious. In fact, I only make 1/2 the recipe now, because we eat the whole batch no matter how large. Good luck in the drawing.

  13. Congratulations on your new series, Cheryl!

  14. Wonder what the paintings would look like if the moonshine came before painting?!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    1. That's too funny. The paintings would definitely have a fluid brush handling quality. LOL.

    2. Well done! Good answer.
      I started the book last night thanks to Netgalley.