Parmesan, Pecans and Thyme Crackers

‘Tis the season for Christmas parties and lots of supermarket refrigerated section dips and chips. I think the reason I like to cook so much is that I want to make sure that when I go to a party, there’s something there that I will like to eat. So, when I went to one of my bridge partner’s “byob” Christmas party last week, I made these delicious “crackers” — more like a savory cookie than a cracker. I also broke down and bought my first cocktail shaker that I’ve ever owned. I’m nervous about how many times I’ve used it already! I brought a raspberry puree I made and some orange vodka, and made a really yummy martini that went over so well! Cocktail recipe to follow.

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces grated Parmesan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 T. finely chopped pecans (or hazelnuts or walnuts)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. of cayenne (to taste)

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until creamy. Add the Parmesan, flour, salt, cayenne, thyme, pecans and pepper and combine.

Dump the dough on a lightly floured board and roll into a 13-inch long log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake for 22 minutes.

adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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