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Crunchy, slightly sweet sesame crackers paired with a perfect savory cheese.
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.
I am a Mexican food fiend and nothing makes me happier than a big bowl of pico de gallo and chips. This is such an easy recipe and you can make it mild, medium or spicy depending on what you prefer. I like spicy, so jalapeno peppers are for me, but you could add habanero peppers if you like a lot of heat!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!