HERB CREAM CHEESE CRACKERS…there’s more to buckwheat than meets the eye!!

“Much Virtue in Herbs, little in Men.”
Benjamin Franklin
Couldn’t resist adding that quotesorry guys!
…I’m beginning to have more fun in the kitchen. That bag of buckwheat flour has done me a world of good. It keeps beckoning to me from the shelf. Was back to Heidi @ 101 Cookbooks to drool over some delicious looking Swedish Rye Cookies, when a note in the middle of her post grabbed my attention. She had let loose some pearls of wisdom about trying the Swedish Cookies in a savoury avatar. Fancy that? Of course I did, & the feet found themselves moving towards the kitchen with a strange sense of excitement. It was like working in the Chemistry lab back in school, when mixing different solutions resulted in magical colours (& smells to faint by). Still fun with experiments ruled nonetheless. Now a parallel fascination continues. I worked like a busy bee throwing in a bit of this & a bit of that, throwing caution to the windhow much can go wrong with substituting flours? It was just the sans sugar factor that bothered me, but I plodded on. The end result, as you can see, turned out to be cracking good! The fact happily endorsed by my ever enthusiastic little official taster! Crackers with herbs, za’atar, to be more specific. Za’atar is a Middle-eastern herb which my hub’s niece got for me from Dubai. She is new to cooking/baking & regularly stops by my blog for ideas, & has now become an expert on adana kebabs, lamb curries, apple crumbles & much more. She plays Santa every few months & religiously gets me a bag of goodies to intrigue me further. This time it was za’atar in a bag of yummy ingredients that caught my eye… as did her poppet of a daughter … all of 2 years old with sea green eyes, a bit like the colour of the za’atar!!
Za’atar is generally prepared using ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, and salt. It is a mixture of herbs and spices used as a condiment with Middle Eastern origins. The name of the condiment shares the Arabic name of the herb used as the main ingredient. Za’atar is used as a seasoning for meats and vegetables. It can be mixed with olive oil to make a spread called za’atar-wu-zayt as a dip for the sesame bread rings known as ka’ak. Za’atar can also be spread on a dough base and baked as a bread, in which case it is called manaeesh bi zaatar. It can be sprinkled on labneh (yogurt that has been drained until it becomes a tangy, creamy cheese). Za’atar is often sprinkled on hummus or served with olive oil as a spread or dip. It can also be used to spice meat and vegetables and can be mixed with salt, rolled into balls and preserved in oil, or dried in the sun I even pinched a bit of dough & rolled out a petite pastry shell to see if it would make a crust. It did…a perfect & pretty little crust … am now thinking ‘fillings’. Goat cheese & cherry tomatoes, caramelised onions, or maybe broccoli & cauliflower. Any suggestions are most welcome…

HERB CREAM CHEESE CRACKERS with buckwheat, oatmeal & za’atar

An original recipe… inspired by Heidi @ 101 Cookbooks
Ingredients:
Buckwheat – 1/2 cup
Oatmeal – 1 cup (I ground a cup of Quaker oats in my coffee grinder)
Flour – 1/2 cup
Butter – 1/2 cup (100gms); chilled & cut into cubes
Za’atar – 1/4 – 1/3 cup (as per taste); you can even substitute this for any other herb of your choice, or then freshly ground black pepper. Do adjust the salt accordingly as za’atar has salt of its own
Freshly ground pepper
Sea salt to taste
Cream cheese – 100 gms
Grated cheddar cheese – 50 gms

Method:

  • Toss all the flours + pepper + chilled butter into the food processor & pulse until breadcrumbs like mixture forms.
  • Add the salt & za’atar & briefly pulse until evenly mixed.
  • Turn out into a big mixing bowl, add the cream cheese & grated cheddar & work into a dough till it all comes together. From into 2 balls & chill in cling wrap for about an hour.
  • Roll out thin & cut into shapes of your choice. Sprinkle with sea salt / za’atar/ freshly ground pepper / paprika & bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes till golden brown. Cool on racks & store in an airtight box. Stays well for a week or so in cold weather.
  • Serve as part of your holiday cheeseboard, or better still, sandwiched with some cream cheese!

These savoury cookies are flying westwards to Susan @ Food Blogga for her Eat Christmas Cookies event, to Happy Cook @ My Kitchen Treasures for her Homemade Christmas Gifts event, & also to Lore for her Original Recipes event @ Culinarty. This post featured on

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Comments

  1. meeso says:

    I come to your blog now as much for the pictures as your recipes! I love the flavor of Zaatar… these must taste delicious!

  2. OMG, Deeba
    I love Zatar so much, and must say can’t leave without it. I use them for a lot of my cooking.
    This cookies must taste amazingly good.

    Love to see your beautiful family, they are so gorgeous, Deeba.
    Cheers,
    Elra

  3. Happy cook says:

    I have never used that herb you mantioned.
    Should look in the shops for that.
    Cookies look so beautiful and seems like your official tasters are really enjoying them.
    Thankyou so much for sending this to my event.

  4. Aparna says:

    I really have to go looking for buckwheat flour. I hope its available here.
    Your cookies look lovely, and I really love savoury cookies.:)

    Za’atar, now that’s something I have to put on my long wishlist to Santa.:D

  5. Curry Leaf says:

    Za’atar is on m wishlist.I must and MUST get buckwheat NOW.THANKS for the info and lovely crackers.PERFECT STANDOUT CRACKERS from the usual sweet ones.

  6. Laurie says:

    What gorgeous children!
    I love the quotes and always appreciate your literature side.. And Ben Franklin is from my home town and too appreciated!

    Your crackers look so perfect! How do you find the time to do it all!! :)

  7. anudivya says:

    Lovely crackers, and more buckwheat! I love it. Cute pics of your family.

  8. Helene says:

    I love Zaatar. I use it on pita bread. Love the family pictures.

  9. The Blonde Duck says:

    It looks like you’re having a fun time!

  10. Darius T. Williams says:

    So this! It’s a winner…these crackers look great!

  11. Navita says:

    Hey great one Deeba. And ur neice’s daughter is such a doll .

    I can make variety of stuff for my mom-in-law when shes fasting! :p

    thanks
    N i will feel nice if u visit me once in a while .:D

  12. Zaatar is new to me. I must tell me son to bring some from Dubai when he goes there again. I have to look for buckwheat as well. The crackers sound delicious and your presentation as always is beautiful.

  13. MeetaK says:

    a wonderful idea deeba! crackers and cream cheese are a favorite around here and this truly is a great way of enjoying them!

  14. Manggy says:

    Ah, savory crackers sound delicious, Deeba… Especially during this relentless sugar rush. Is that a smile I see from Meher? Will wonders never cease? :P

  15. Kitchen Flavours says:

    Wow yummy crackers. Looks awesome. Nice presentation.

  16. Jeanne says:

    Oh Deeba, those crackers look fantastic! I’ve never had zaatar, but it sounds phenomenal. Thanks for sharing a great recipe :)

  17. ovenhaven says:

    I’ve never had zatar before, but those crackers look great! I love the MidEastern twist you’ve given these Swedish crackers :)

  18. Renée Anne Bouffard-McManus says:

    Yum! Those crackers look great. I wonder how it would taste with Spelt or Kamut or Barley flour? …I can’t have buckwheat. I think I may try your recipe with a different flour and looking at it I think it just might work! Thanks. :)

  19. Simran says:

    Wow! I couldn’t have thought of such a lovely take on crackers. Look absolutely delicious.

  20. Navita says:
  21. excellent idea…very nice recipe.thx for sharing…merry xmas

  22. sefa firdaus says:

    Hi Deeba..
    thanks for dropping by!
    It was a surprise to know that you used za’atar for cookies.
    My husband loves za’atar very much, and my mom inlaw brought him a huge bag of it last summer.
    Now almost every morning he has breakfast eating za’atar with pita bread. Me, I don’t really like it.. but maybe I’ll change my mind once I use it for baking a cookie. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Have a nice weekend,
    Sefa

  23. The crackers sound mmmm… good!
    Thank you so much for your sweet comments and visiting my blog. Stop by again!

  24. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    You’re family is so beautiful, Deeba. Thank you for sharing them with us. :) And thank you for the herby crackers. I LOVE them!

  25. Gloria says:

    I love these Deeba, so wonderful and georgeous (love your molds too) but really lovely family pictures!!!! xxxGloria

  26. Gloria Chadwick says:

    You’ve taken crackers to a whole new level. They all look really good!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and putting my book on your sidebar. :)

  27. I can picture you *bee-ing* around and spreading all those yummy savoury toppings ;). I always, always take a savoury cracker over a cookie (ok, maybe not the few days I crave chocolate). Thank you for sharing it with the Original Recipes Roun-Up and for your kind wishes!

  28. thank u so much for coming up with an amazin savory cookie … im not a sugary person so this is like my dream come tru…. love the spices u used in these cookies!!!
    i jus ve one question r these cookies freezable??? i mean can u make a bumch n freeze em n ve some ??? i hope they r even though they ve cheese in em…. one more question … the middle eastern burger patties u made .. r those freezable too???
    love ur blog n recipes… der jus soooo good!!!! thanks a lot for posting all of these…
    love ur pictures too . very creative.

  29. Proud Italian Cook says:

    Deeba, These are fantastic! I feel like I’m paging through a gourmet magazine everytime I come here! You’re so creative! Have a wonderful holiday season!
    xox, Marie

  30. Patrizia says:

    I made them yesterday and I must say: these are the most wonderful savoury cookies I ever had. Thanks for sharing this recipe, greetings from Holland…. Patrizia

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