Stilton and Walnut Crackers

Ina Garten, How Easy Is That?

Makes: about 24 crackers

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 22 minutes


Ingredients

1 stick butter,at room temperature

10 oz of Stilton cheese with the rind or 8 oz. without the rind, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 extra large egg, with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped


Directions

Begin with removing the rind of the cheese by cutting it off with a sharp knife.  Place your cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, making sure both the butter and cheese are at room temperature.  Cream the butter and cheese together for about 1 minute on medium/high speed with the paddle attachment until well blended and smooth.  Adjust your speed to low and add your flour, salt, and fresh ground pepper and mix for one minute until your ingredients are combined.  Then add one tablespoon of cold water and mix until your dough comes together into the shape of a ball around the paddle attachment.  

 

Place your ball of dough on a lightly floured pastry mat or work space.  Roll into a rough rectangle about 3 1/2 inches wide by 12 inches long.  Then fold your dough together to create a log about 3 inches wide.  The recipe recommended rolling your dough into a log shape, but I found I had to fold it together and then pinch the seems together. Finish with smoothing your dough into a clean and even log of dough. Meanwhile, finely chop your walnuts. Beat one egg and one tablespoon of water in a small bowl.  Brush the egg mixture along the entire surface of your log, making sure to brush all four sides. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and gently press against the dough so the walnuts are embedded into the log.  Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for as little as 30 minutes or up to 4 days.  You can also freeze your log to keep on hand in case you need an easy and painless appetizer with little work involved!  Just make sure to defrost it overnight in the refrigerator before you're ready to use it.  

 

Once refrigerated, slice into 3/8 inch slices. Lay them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1/2 an inch in between each because they will expand slightly when baking.  Bake your crackers at 350 degrees for 22 minutes or until just golden.  Allow your crackers to cool on the cookie sheet and serve at room temperature.  These crackers are delicious on their own or would be paired nicely with some fresh fruit such as a thin slice of pear with a touch of honey drizzled on top.

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