Tejas with Sunflower Seeds

makes 64 crackers

*Note-- recipe can easily be halved

1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until barely lukewarm

1 cup confectioners' sugar

4 extra large egg whites at room temperature

Pinch of kosher salt

24 sheets (about 8 ounces) of frozen phyllo pastry, thawed and kept covered with a barely damp paper towel

3/4-1 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds

Kosher salt and ground cayenne pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg whites, and salt using a wire whisk, whisking until thick and smooth.  Brush one phyllo sheet with a thin layer of the butter mixture.  Top with a second sheet of phyllo and brush with the butter mixture.  Top with a third sheet of phyllo and brush with more of the butter mixture.  Using a sharp knife or pastry wheel, cut the layered phyllo into 8 (4 1/2 x 3-inch) rectangles.  Transfer the rectangles to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each one with 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds, some kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes.  Transfer crackers to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets, butter mixture, and sunflower seeds to make a total of 64 crackers.  Tejas can be made up to 1 day in advance and carefully stored in an airtight container.  Enjoy!  

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