Whale-Shaped Crackers with Cheddar and Nori
All lumpy and big and grungy, whales might not be as chic and beautiful as their dolphin relatives, but they are just as lovable. From the narwhal, an animal about which I'm half-convinced doesn't actually exist but is just a figment of someone's imagination...to the humpbacks with their renowned singing and their own version of pop music...and to the blue whales, being the biggest living thing EVER - the whale, in all its diversity, is due for some love. So this is our ode. Our ode to the whale (see previously, ode to ground beef).
Last year, we made these. In celebration of our devotion to this cetacean and our town's festival. This year we made crackers - a sonnet expressing our love, but in an edible form. Whole wheat, buttery, sesame seed filled crackers topped with cheese and a sprinkling of nori goma furikake. Seth introduced this combination of cracker, cheddar, and the nori, and we have been hooked ever since. The cheese can also be seen as an homage to our pure and utter cheesiness. I wasn't kidding about being a dork.
- 3 cup white whole wheat flour
- good quality cheddar, sliced
- whale shaped cookie cutter
- 2 cup ice water
- 0.5 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 0.25 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 0.125 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 0.25 cup roasted sesame seed
- nori goma furikake
In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, sesame, baking powder, salt, and peppers. Rub the butter into the flour using your hands or pastry cutter, until the mixture looks like coarse sand. In the bowl of a stand mixer, very gradually, and on low speed, add the cold water, stopping once a dough forms. You want the mixture to hold together and to no longer be dry. Take half the mixture and put in fridge. Roll out the other half on a silpat or parchment until about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Use the cookie cutter to make whale shapes. Sprinkle with just a bit of fleur de sel and place in 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden and crisp. Repeat with the rest of the dough. To serve, top with a slice of cheddar and a sprinkle of nori.
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