Sunday, March 28, 2010

Morning Reflections

Parmesan-Thyme Shortbread. A small snack that packs a punch.

It takes a baby to make you realize the luxury of having a peaceful night's sleep and waking refreshed in the mornings. But I'm not going to whine about that. This post is about appreciating the positive side of everything - like how much I enjoy getting the chance to watch the sunrise every morning, while holding my precious bundle close to my heart.

Magical, no?

Nothing quite beats the serenity of a quiet morning. It's times like that when the oddest, most random thoughts tend to pop up in my head. Things like how much I love Ina Garten's kitchen, or why is B's hair growing in patches, or when am I ever going to have time to go get that pedicure my feet so desperately need, or how I cannot stand Kara Dioguardi from American Idol ... and that sends me spiraling into all kinds of negative emotions towards that show! How much does this season suck?! Even my beloved Ellen can't save it from the lack of talent it's suffering from.

Thyme - such a dainty little thing, isn't she?

This morning I started wondering what to do with the whole bunch of thyme I bought from the grocery store recently. I'm waiting to move into my next home before I start growing my own thyme, because it's ridiculous to buy an entire bunch from the store when you only need a few sprigs! It's a lovely herb, but doesn't get used at all in my regular Pakistani cooking. I decided that it was time I started venturing into snack recipes, and perhaps steer clear of desserts for a while (huh, we'll see how long
that lasts!). That's how the idea for this recipe was born, and luckily, Janice from Have Recipes - Will Cook had the perfect, easy recipe for me.

Parmesan-Thyme Crackers
(find original recipe here)

Makes about 20 crackers

Click here for printable recipe

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
Approx 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1.5 tsp minced fresh thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter.

2. Turn the mixer to low, then add the parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix until combined.

3. Add in the flour and mix till it all comes together as a soft dough.

4. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press into a ball. Then roll it out into a 9-inch log. Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 mins, or up to 4 days.
Must. Stop. Thinking. Naughty. Thoughts. My parents read this blog - dammit!

5. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 3/8 inch thick rounds and place them on the baking pan. Bake for 22 mins or until very lightly browned. Rotate pan once during baking. Cool and serve at room temp.

Verdict: The hardest part was stopping myself from tearing into these adorable crackers as soon as they came out of the oven! The smell of the buttery dough, mixed with parmesan and fresh thyme, as it was baking just drove me to distraction. These have a strong, moan-inducing flavor, and beautiful texture, and work perfectly as an afternoon snack when you're craving something savory. Be aware that these aren't low-fat, even though they're tiny, and eating 10 of them in a row will come back to haunt you when next you go jean-shopping (I did, and it wasn't pretty).