Minimal Monday: Parmesan Cheese Crisps




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If you can open a bag of chips, you can make these Parmesan Cheese Crisps. They’re just as crunchy, and way more impressive. All you need is one ingredient ~ Parmesan cheese!

The easiest appetizer ever!

This is how simple it is: you make little piles of grated Parmesan cheese on a baking sheet, and bake it for 10 minutes.  It melts down, bubbles away, and then crisps up right before your eyes.  Your eyes will be glued to the oven window.

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Depending on the type of Parmesan you use, how old it is, how it’s grated, and how thick you make your little piles, you will get slightly different results, but – good news – there is no wrong way to do these.  Whether they’re lacy, scraggly, or smooth and even, they will taste fantastic.  The cheese melts and then toasts to a super crispy texture with a flavor that reminds me of, ok I’ll say it, bacon.  You can use them as snacks with a glass of wine, or as creative garnishes on all sorts of things.

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The only absolute is that you must have a nonstick surface to bake these on.  I used my trusty Silpat mat, but I also tried parchment paper, and that  works just fine.  You can make them in free form little heaps, or use a cookie or biscuit cutter as a mold — just spoon the cheese into it, and gently lift it off.  You’ll have perfectly round circles of cheese.  The baked crisps are very delicate, so they need to be lifted off the baking sheet with care; use a small thin edged spatula or spreader.  But once they are cooled, they are sturdy enough to stack on a plate and enjoy.

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Rosemary has such a clean, astringent flavor it stands up perfectly to the Parmesan, and makes a striking cracker.   It was my favorite of the lot.  Just be sure to chop it very finely.

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Parmesan Cheese Crisps
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Ingredients

  • Parmesan cheese, grated (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
    optional add ins
  • fresh rosemary leaves, very finely minced
  • sesame seeds
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • walnuts, very finely minced
  • hot pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 400F
  2. Make 2" round piles of grated Parmesan cheese on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cheese for each pile. You can use a 2" cookie or biscuit cutter as a mold, or make the circles of cheese by eye. Try to get it as even as possible around the edges so the crisp will be sturdy. Space the circles about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them. They may need slightly more or less time. They are done when they have stopped bubbling and are just beginning to turn golden around the edges.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for a couple of minutes. Gently lift the crisps off the pan with a slim spatula or spreading knife. Be extra careful, the crisps are delicate. Set them on paper towels to finish cooling.

Notes

I found that, in terms of texture, shredded works a little better than a finely grated cheese.

Tips for success:

1.  Make sure your oven is at or close to 400F.  Too hot and these will burn.

2.  Experiment with one or two crisps before you bake a whole tray full.  You may need to adjust your oven temperature, or the amount of cheese you are using to get the perfect crisp.

3.  Don’t be tempted to make these bigger than 2″, they are too delicate and will crumble when you try to handle them.

4.  If you want to experiment with different flavors, be sure you use dry ingredients.  Anything wet will interfere with the cheese crisping.  Rosemary works well because it’s a sturdy woody herb, but fresh parsley, basil, or even lemon zest will shrivel up in the heat of the oven.

5.  Let the crisps cool for a couple of minutes on the tray, and be sure to use a very fine edged spatula or knife to lift them off.  Run it gently around the crisp before attempting to remove it.

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Leave a Reply

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Janice
    September 29, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Thank you fir the recipe. I have just one question. How long can you store the crisps in a closed container at room temperature?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 29, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      I’d plan on 10 days at least, Janice.

  • Reply
    Heather
    November 15, 2013 at 6:55 am

    “The View from Great Island | Minimal Monday: Parmesan Cheese Crisps” ended up being a wonderful post.
    If solely there were considerably more websites similar to this
    amazing one in the actual world wide web. Well, thank you for ur time, Matthias

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    November 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

    You are so creative – cheese crisps sound wonderful and love all your flavors choices. They are also very pretty!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    November 12, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Well if i had known these were so easy, I would have been making these little crisps for each and every party I’ve ever thrown!! I’m so glad you’ve enlightened me on this!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    November 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I love parmesan, these look so addictive!

  • Reply
    Mike C Smith
    November 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Brilliant idea, I’ve got to make these once I’m off the current diet, they look so so tasty.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    jeri
    November 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I hope you don’t mind anther tip. Please don’t be tempted to try these without the Silpat or parchment. I thought I could get by with just a non-stick baking sheet. Not one of my better ideas.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Yeah, you really need one of the other surfaces…hope you try again!

  • Reply
    SallyBR
    November 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Only tried to make these once, with close to tragic results… but my oven was not too reliable. I absolutely need to re-visit this recipe

    thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 11, 2013 at 11:50 am

      I tried these many different ways, Sally, and I found them to be pretty user friendly, Hope this recipe works for you!

  • Reply
    Abbe@This is How I Cook
    November 11, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I make these all the time. Well, that is when I go to Costco and buy parmesan. They are addicting and addicting and soo much better than the Whole Foods version!

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