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Sesame Crackers with Cranberry Cheese Spread

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Level: Easy

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Description

Crunchy, slightly sweet sesame crackers paired with a perfect savory cheese.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CRACKERS:
  • ¾ cups Sesame Seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature, Plus More For The Baking Pans
  • ½ cups Loosely Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 whole Egg
  • ¼ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ⅔ cups All-purpose Flour
  • FOR THE CRANBERRY CHEESE SPREAD:
  • 8 ounces, weight Mascarpone Cheese (or Cream Cheese)
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, Finely Shredded
  • ½ cups Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • ½ cups Dried Cranberries, Chopped
  • 1 pinch Salt

Preparation

For the crackers:
Toast the sesame seeds in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until golden. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer seeds to a bowl and let them cool completely.

Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, salt and baking powder and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour and 1/4 cup of the toasted sesame seeds and beat until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes to an hour.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil and butter the parchment or foil.

Form teaspoon-sized scoops of dough into small balls, then roll them in the remaining 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, pressing to coat.

Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Gently flatten each ball with the palm of your hand.

Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until dark golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pans from the oven and let crackers cool 1 minute on the baking sheets. Then carefully remove the crackers with a thin metal spatula and transfer to racks to cool completely.

For the cheese spread:
Combine the mascarpone cheese, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, dried cranberries and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Spread a thick layer of cheese on each cracker or serve alongside crackers as a spread.

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