Cacio e Pepe Crackers

Cacio e Pepe Crackers

[Photograph: Steve Legato]

Little, buttery, savory rounds flecked with black pepper and flavored heartily with pecorino cheese are excellent before dinner or by themselves. Wrapped in paper and tucked in a decorative box, they're a charming host or hostess gift.

The recipe for these crackers is inspired by the flavors of bavette cacio e pepe, a pasta dish seasoned with pecorino cheese and black pepper that charmed Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share author Lucy Baker.

Tips: The dough can be made up to a week in advance. Make a couple batches to be portioned off and baked up to bring with you to any fête you attend (planned or last-minute!)

Tweaks: You can make a variation of this recipe with blue cheese, if pecorino isn't pungent enough for you. Simply replace the pecorino with eight ounces of Stilton, or whichever blue you prefer.

Reprinted with permission from Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share by Lucy Baker. Copyright © 2012. Published by Running Press. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

  • Yield:makes about 30 crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions

  1. 1.

    Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cheese and pulse to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is coarsely combined and looks like wet sand. Slowly drizzle in 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water, and pulse until the mixture begins to come together in a ball.

  2. 2.

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a 12-inch log. Wrap the log in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.

  3. 3.

    Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the log of dough crosswise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick rounds. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake until the crackers are very lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Store the crackers in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.