These delicious crackers with fresh herbs are flaky, crispy, puffy and light. They are my favorite snack to serve along with a glass of wine or a cocktail. They also make a perfect appetizer or a quick snack that everyone will love.
Fresh herbs cookie topping
The fresh herbs on top of the cookies get brittle while baking, which I love. When I made them for the first time, some years ago, I was afraid that the small sprig of rosemary on top of the cookies would become kind of tough to chew. However, this wasn’t the case at all. The sprigs, herbs and flowers on top dry out wile baking, which makes them crispy and brittle. Perfect!
A cross between short crust and puff pastry
I kind of adapted my pie crust recipe for this cracker dough. Btw, if you are looking for a perfect pie crust, this is it! However, the crackers taste similar to puff pastry crackers.
The steam from the butter creates lots of little pockets in the dough, which result in light, flaky, and puffy crackers. After all, they still have some of that crumbly biscuit-like texture. The dough is similar to a ‘rough puff pastry’, the cheats version of puff pastry.
I used the easy method to make shortcrust but due to rolling out the dough pretty thin, the crackers are not dense and heavy like shortbread but rather light and tender like puff pastry. The crackers are sugar-free, crispy, flaky, and buttery-delicious. Just a heads up: You won’t stop after one.
Recipe for savory herb crackers
Here is a brief tutorial on how to make the crackers. For ingredients and detailed instructions, see recipe at the end.
First, make a dough with butter, flour, salt, chopped herbs, and water. Chill it for 1/2 hour, then roll it out on a well-floured counter to 12×18 inch (45×30 cm). Use a 2.5 inch round cookie cutter (or wine glass) to cut out circles. I got out 23 circles. I reformed it once and cut out another 5 cookies.
Put herb leaves/flowers on top and lightly press into the dough with your fingers or a rolling pin. They stick best, when just rinsed with water and still a little wet. For a quick alternative, use a dough cutter or a knife to cut in squares.
Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet. If there are any dough scrapes, bake them too – they are delicious.
Bake the cookies until they are starting to turn pale golden, 15-20 minutes.
If you roll out the dough thicker and cut out about 15 crackers, they will be thicker, like in the picture above. They will still have those nice layers, but the will not puff up and rather stay flat. I topped them with chive blossoms, which taste great (if you like a subtle garlicy taste).
These simple savory cookies with fresh herbs are sugar-free, crispy, flaky, puffy, and buttery-delicious. They taste like a cross between puff pastry and shortbread. These savory herb crackers make a great appetizer or snack and are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine or a cocktail.
Recipe: Ursula | lilvienna.com (cookie dough adapted from my pie-crust)
- 6 1/2 tablespoons (90 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 1/4 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh herbs (here: a mix of rosemary and thyme)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cold water
- Whole fresh herbs + herb flowers*
* I used rosemary including flowers plus thyme including flowers. I’ve also made them using sage, oregano, and parsley leaves as well as chive flowers with success.
- Start by cubing the butter and placing it in the freezer to make sure it’s really cold. Meanwhile, gather and measure the rest of the ingredients.
- Add flour, salt, minced herbs, and cold butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few times, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate frozen butter directly in a bowl with the flour (stir in between), or quickly work the butter cubes into the flour with your fingers. Pop the mixture in the freezer for 10-15 minutes if you used your hands to get it back to cold.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl. Sprinkle the cold water over the mixture and try to incorporate it with a spoon. Knead for a few seconds, until it just comes together to a dough. If the dough does not come together, add a bit of water.
- Form the dough into a 7-inch (18 cm) disc on a floured counter. Wrap it in cling wrap, and refrigerate at least half an hour. You can chill it up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) or 320 °F (160 °C) if using a fan-oven.
- Roll out the dough on a well-floured counter to 12x18 inch (45x30 cm). Flour often underneath the dough and on top so it does not stick to the counter nor the rolling pin. Give the dough a good dusting of flour before you start to cut out circles: Lift the dough from each side and dust underneath with flour.
- Use a 2.5 inch round cookie cutter (or wine glass) to cut out circles. I got out 23 circles. Put herb leaves/flowers on top and gently press into the dough with your fingers or a rolling pin. They stick best, when just rinsed with water and still a little wet. For a quick alternative, see tip. Transfer the cookies to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Reform the leftover dough into a ball, then roll out again and cut into more rounds (I got an additional 5 rounds out of this). I usually do this only one time, then cut the dough scraps into pieces and place them on the baking sheet next to the cookies. The baked dough scraps are delicious too.
- Bake the cookies until they are starting to turn pale golden, 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven at 350 °F (175 °C) or at 320 °F (160 °C) fan. If you want to bake more than one sheet at once, use fan for even baking. With bottom-top heat rotate sheets in between or bake one sheet after the other.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet. Enjoy!
For quicker crackers: When you are almost finished rolling out the dough, sprinkle fresh herbs on top. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and lightly roll with a rolling pin to press the herbs into the dough. Cut rectangles/squares using a pastry wheel/pizza cutter or a knife.
For thicker crackers: Roll out the dough thicker and cut out about 15 crackers. They will still have those nice layers, but the will not puff up and rather stay flat.
Brilliant idea to base this recipe on pastry mix. The crackers look super and so flaky.
Thank you, Ani. I love these crackers :) I hope you’ll try them some time.