Spanish tapas for dinner…it was an evening filled with some new and wonderful flavors, Sangria and wine! It was a relaxed evening with friends and the perfect way to start a weekend.  This was the evening that started with these wonderful Savory Manchego Crackers, a variety of Spanish cheeses, Serrano ham slices, and quince paste along with a few Marcona almonds and ended with the Magic Chocolate Flan Cake!!  And if I had pictures of all of the wonderful “tapas that were in between”, I would tell you about them, too!

I really like manchego cheese.  It is a cheese made from sheep’s milk and comes from the La Mancha region of Spain which was also the home to Don Quixote.  I think it is the first cheese that I had that was made from sheep’s milk and given how much I love lamb, I wasn’t certain that I was going to really like it….but, it won my heart a few years ago, so naturally I jumped at the chance to make these wonderful savory crackers.

As I prepared the crackers I learned a lesson about softened butter…..I had to make two batches for us….  I had set the butter out early in the morning but didn’t get around to making the crackers until the afternoon.  The butter was very soft.  Everything mixed up easily and crackers turned out perfectly. For the most part I was a happy girl.  The second batch was different….the butter wasn’t quite as soft and I do not think it mixed in as smoothly.  Consequently, I had a few crackers that looked like pancakes!

Anyway, I loved these flavorful crackers!  They were perfect.

Savory Manchego Crackers
adapted from Martha Stewart

Serves:  24
Preheat Oven:  350° F.

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
5 ounces Manchego cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup crisp rice cereal

Preheat oven to 350° F.  In the mixer bowl, beat the butter, cheese, pepper and salt until combined. Gradually stir in the flour until just incorporated.  Add the rice cereal until combined.

Form rounded tablespoons for dough into disks that are about 1 1/2 inches across.  Place the disks on the backing sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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