Weekend Wrap Up + Cracker Porn / Green Peppercorn Cornmeal Crackers

I was grateful to be giggling with my good friends Patrick and Andrew tonight enjoying the last bits of summer pesto and fall warmth on Andrew’s terrace. After a weekend full of excitement complete with dirty dogs and Elon Homecoming, I concluded my Sunday with gossip and our predictions for the awaiting week’s gossip. Patrick used the last of Andrew’s basil and made a quick pesto to spread on homemade Green Peppercorn Cornmeal Crackers to accompany his hometown Gethsemani cheese (ode to stinky).

The full giggling aroused when I asked Patrick exactly what kind of crackers he made. He said, “Did you say cracker porn?” and I said “No, I said peppercorn.” We laughed and the bittersweet feeling of the weekend’s finale sunk in.

Green-Peppercorn Cornmeal Crackers from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons dried green peppercorns, coarsely crushed, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Whisk together flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons peppercorns, and table salt in a bowl. Blend in butter using a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead 6 to 8 times. Cut into 5 pieces, then chill, covered with plastic wrap, 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Mix kosher salt and remaining 2 teaspoons peppercorns in a small bowl.  Roll out 1 piece of dough on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 15- by 4-inch rectangle (1/8 inch thick). Lightly brush with egg, then prick all over with a fork. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon salt-and-pepper mixture.  Cut crosswise into 12 strips and arrange 1/8 inch apart on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.  Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until golden-brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool crackers slightly, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

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