My Asiago Lemon Thyme Shortbread was a big hit around here, and, as promised, I have experimented with other versions of this great go-with-a-glass-of-wine cracker. Today I made it with lots of buttery Manchego cheese and Marcona almonds, with their delicious salty skins still on.
As I said before, these are great because you can make up the dough ahead and refrigerate or freeze it until you’re ready.  If you keep a couple of logs around, you’ll always be ready for surprise guests, although, I don’t know about you, but we don’t really get a lot of ‘surprise’ guests around here.  The true beauty of having the dough on hand is that you can bake them up fresh when you’re in the mood…true luxury.

(Refer to the original post for more detailed photos)

Set the oven to 325
In the bowl of a processor put:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup Marcona almonds, skin on
Process this until the almonds are chopped
Add in:
1 stick plus 2 Tbsp cold butter, cut in pieces
1 cup finely shredded Manchego cheese
Pulse the processor for about 10 times, and check to see if the dough holds together when you squeeze it between your fingers, process it further if necessary.
Remove the dough and form into a 9 inch log.  Work the dough briefly if it seems too crumbly.
Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more.
Slice the dough just like slice and bake cookies, about 3/8 inch thick.
Bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet for 23-25 minutes until just lightly browned. Let them cool on the baking sheet.

I had meant to photograph (and enjoy) these outside on the deck, but it’s been raining all day.  Oh well, wine tastes just as good inside, as do these savory shortbreads.

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16 Responses to Manchego and Marcona Almond Shortbread Crackers

  1. Joanne says:

    Technical question…are the almonds raw, salted….???

  2. I can imagine how fast these must disappear during wine time. Wish I could find Marcona almonds locally without having to buy mixed nuts and pick them out….

  3. Tabitha—Since I STILL don’t have a kitchen Aid, I’m not exactly sure, but I think you could do it. You would need softened butter and then just mix it in like a pie crust. You can also easily use your hands, which actually is probably the preferred method to get the best texture.

  4. Oh my, these look incredible.
    Question, would I be able to do this in the Kitchen Aid or do I need a processor as well?

  5. These look AMAZING! I would LOVE it if you shared this recipe with us at Cast Party Wednesday tomorrow!

    I hope to see you there!

  6. Susan—thanks! At the moment I can only seem to get good shots when the sun’s out…and it’s been raining for days! I’m doing an online tutorial, hopefully it will help me out ;)

  7. Louise—I think any cheese that’s fairly hard would work. You need to be able to grate it, and it should be sharp, or the flavor will get lost. Pecorino would be perfect. I didn’t know the BC had a recipe for blue cheese and walnut, that sounds great to me, although every time I bake anything with blue cheese it gets kind of grey and unappealing.

  8. looks wonderful, shortbread is one of my favorites :)

  9. Oh my goodness these look delicious…I must try them!

  10. Joanne says:

    How awesome! I’ve never made homemade crackers before but these look great!

  11. Wow, those look incredibly delicious!! I saw a similar recipe in one of the Barefoot Contessa books for a blue cheese & walnut cracker, but I don’t like blue cheese. However I love manchego, so this sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing this! Do you think pecorino would work in place of manchego?

  12. What a nice recipe. Cheese and almonds, yum!!I love your photography, every photo is so crisp and clear.

  13. annie says:

    I happen to adore manchego cheese and Marcona almonds…I can’t wait to try this. I love how you’ve adapted the recipe. It’s so great that you can store them, bring them out, slice, bake and open a bottle of wine. It’s the perfect thing to have on hand.

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