BAKING cookies

Olive and Rosemary Crackers

April 26, 2009
Olive and rosemary crackers
For the past one week I’ve been scouting the supermarkets for rosemary. They’ve got everything else- thyme, parsley, basil, marjoram, chives; but no rosemary. Either it’s out of stock or its too dead to be used. I’ve got a list of things that I want to make that require rosemary and these crackers were on top of the list ever since I saw them on Kelly’s blog.
Yesterday, I finally got my hands on some fresh rosemary and made these the first thing in the morning today. I added chopped olives and garlic to the dough for some extra pizzazz. As I put together the ingredients; I was smiling to myself about the quantity of garlic I should add. I love to add a little garlic whenever I can; and with olive oil and rosemary, it would only make an unbeatable combination of flavours.
Rosemary, olives, garlic and parmigiano reggiano cheese
Since Kelly mentioned that her rolled dough didn’t keep together very well, I rolled it out on the Silpat itself. Sprinkled it with my new fancy Himalayan pink salt and let it bake for about ten minutes. 
Olive and rosemary crackers
I popped a few in my mouth as soon as they were out of the oven and oh my goodness gracious! These were amazing – salty, cheesy, herby with tiny surprises of garlic. They were gobbled down in no time. Didn’t feel the need for a dip. My dad is already asking when I’m making them again, because these were too few! While Mr. Bittman suggests these will serve 4, I disagree. If you are a fan of all these flavours it’s better you double the recipe!
Olive and Rosemary Crackers
1 cup all-purpose flour, more as needed
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp parmigiano reggiano cheese, finely grated
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp black olives, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half, more as needed
1 Tablespoon milk, if required
Pink Himalayan salt or your favourite topping – coarsely ground pepper, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
Olive and rosemary crackers
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. Put flour, salt, cheese, rosemary, olives, garlic and olive oil in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until flour and olive oil create little crumbs. In case you don’t have a food processor, simply whisk all the dry ingredients together first. Then add the oil and using a fork or a pastry blender mix till they look like coarse crumbs.
  3. Add about 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half and let machine run for a bit. If the dough is still a little dry after pouring in the cream, add a little milk. Alternatively (without the food processor), pour the cream into the dough mixture and combine it into the dough with your hands..
  4. Roll out dough on the Silpat or the baking sheet until 1/4-inch thick or even thinner, adding flour as needed.
  5. Score lightly with a sharp knife or a pastry wheel to break crackers into squares or rectangles later on. Sprinkle with the salt or topping of your choice.
  6. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature. 
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  • Reply Arundathi April 26, 2009 at 2:25 PM

    Those look so fabulous. Wondering if this is possible without a food processor? Maybe not huh?

  • Reply Parita April 26, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    Wow these look great, so tempting i wish i could grab one right now :)

  • Reply Shaheen April 26, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    Oh no, Arundathi, you can make these without a food processor as well. Just use your hands and combine the ingredients together. The food processor only makes it a little less messy, that’s all.

  • Reply Kavey April 26, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    These looks wonderful!

  • Reply Tom L April 26, 2009 at 5:50 PM

    This looks great! I think I’ll try it with Rye flour. Thanks Shaheen!

  • Reply Pearl April 26, 2009 at 8:30 PM

    ooh! does the pink Himalayan salt add something different in taste?

  • Reply Shaheen April 26, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    Thanks, Kavey. :)

    Oh Tom, I love the idea of trying this with rye flour!

    Pearl, the pink Himalayan salt tastes wonderful. It doesn’t have that concentrated sharpness of regular salt. It’s a lot milder. And given that they’ve got a tonne of natural minerals, I’m happier having this!

  • Reply arjwiz April 27, 2009 at 12:48 AM

    “an unbeatable combination of flavours” I loved that line!!

    Also the end of your post really summarized the value of this recipe – “While Mr. Bittman suggests these will serve 4, I disagree. If you are a fan of all these flavours it’s better you double the recipe!”

    Great writing as usual!

  • Reply Ramya Kiran April 27, 2009 at 12:24 AM

    Wow, that looks crunchy and the ingredients give me the smell of it. Will be trying it soon..

  • Reply Ciao Chow Linda April 27, 2009 at 4:26 AM

    yummy yummy yummy. I have got to try these.

  • Reply Sweet Bird April 27, 2009 at 5:26 AM

    These look delicious. I’ve only ever made crackers once, but I think this would be the recipe to get me to do so again.

  • Reply A_and_N April 27, 2009 at 6:47 AM

    Oh, I’ve tried from Kelly’s blog. HOwever, I didn’t really added the pink salt :) And I added pecorino cheese since I, well, :D wanted to try out pecorino!!

    Am sure with the pink salt, it must have tasted great!!

  • Reply Arundathi April 27, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    Yes I could use my hands but I guess I’ll have to chop etc very tiny if I’m not using the processor! :) lol!

  • Reply Deeba PAB April 27, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    Drop dead gorgeous crackers, just the way I like them. Mmmmmmmm garlic! Guess what, bought a TINY rosemary plant 2 days ago, & cannot wait for it to grow so I can begin using it. Can see the microplaner, siplat sheet & Himalayan salt being put to very good use!I love savoury stuff, & this is YUM!!

  • Reply Shaheen April 27, 2009 at 5:45 PM

    A_and_N: Isn’t is awesome? Pecorino cheese in the crackers sounds great.

    Deeba: I’m so very jealous of your rosemary plant!

    Arundathi: Oh no, the food processor just does the job of combining the dough. I’ve chopped the herbs and olives by hand.

  • Reply chocolatecup April 27, 2009 at 8:15 PM


  • Reply Susan from Food Blogga April 27, 2009 at 9:15 PM

    No wonder your Dad is asking when you’re gonna make them again. What’s not to love about them?

  • Reply traderjanki April 29, 2009 at 9:47 AM

    hey- you can find rosemary at crawford market.

  • Reply Shaheen April 29, 2009 at 10:57 AM

    Thank you so much traderjanki, you just made my day!

  • Reply traderjanki April 29, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    but wait- not the little seeds in the mini pot that i wrote about on my blog. that i got in the states :( but you can find packaged rosemary (and all the other herbs you mentioned) from this one stall…he also carries a million different types of lettuce and sometimes edamame, and the stall across from him has lovely cherry tomatoes, broccoli, red and yellow peppers and avocados.

  • Reply Shaheen April 29, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    Oh oh oh! I can buy the herbs in packets at local supermarkets. I want a potted plant! I didn’t find any rosemary seeds when I was there. I found chives at Ikea though.. Should have sneaked in a plant. :P

  • Reply Michelle May 1, 2009 at 2:06 AM

    I love the flavor of himalayan pink sea salt. I get mine @

    It makes all the difference in the world. I can’t wait to make these crackers! They look WONDERFUL!

  • Reply Heather T - sloCooking May 4, 2009 at 2:53 AM

    Those look so good – I can’t wait to try them out!

  • Reply eatmakeread May 5, 2009 at 4:51 AM

    so glad you made them! great idea with the silpat… i’ll definitely use that next time.

  • Reply SavoryTv May 24, 2009 at 2:42 AM

    These look wonderful, and would not even need to be topped with anything, thank you!

  • Reply Hugging the Coast May 24, 2009 at 9:00 AM

    Great post! These are so wonderfully rustic looking!

  • Reply Anonymous June 29, 2009 at 3:25 AM

    I had 1/4 rye flour and no olives, but some cheddar as well as parmesan in my mix. I also added some dried onions.

    I then messed up on the amounts of oil and cream and so, ended up with rather soft but brown crackers after 12 mins in the oven. I took them off the baking tray (lined with greaseproof paper) and put the onto a rack, but then decided to improve upon them and pop them for another 8 mins into the oven.

    Result was still too crumbly to eat as cracker :(

    Alternative uses for the failed crackers:

    * Fry one of the crumble crackers instead of flour alongside the onion fry to make gravy.

    * fry in butter, and use the hot crumbs and oil as a decoration for cauliflower, asparagus or lentils.

    * Make a fry with onion and the crumbs, add to potatoes (mash, Knoedels etc) as topping or crunchy tasty bits in the mass.

    * Use in a salad or sandwiches as the magic tasty crunchy bits

    So, I ended up with a very versatile spice instead of crackers, but as far as I'm concerned, this on is a fail again once my current failures have been used up.

  • Reply The Purple Foodie June 30, 2009 at 2:33 AM

    Hey Anon thanks for sharing your detailed experience.I like your positive outlook about turning these into quite something else. Very inspiring. Your comment has really got me thinking.

    Thanks! And don't give up okay, you will learn. :)

  • Reply Ramya Kiran October 10, 2009 at 1:17 AM

    These crackers look delicious!

  • Reply Linda December 29, 2009 at 6:17 AM

    Thanks for such good recipe… I made couple of changes by replacing virgin olive oil with Patan ghee and crackers seemed more delicious…. I should try it.. Regards…

  • Reply Maia January 8, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    i usually don't leave comments in blogs… but for this recipe, i had to! i am always making these, they are SO delicious, my whole family loves them.
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  • Reply Ni July 29, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    I made these yesterday, variation of these actually, substituting ingredients I did not have, but I mostly went by this recipe; and the crackers came out so good. The best I have had, if I may say so. :)

    Thanks a lot.
    Love your blog.

  • Reply Sarah July 30, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    This looks amazing. Funny though that I haven’t ever seen a recipe like this around. So happy to have found it. Thank you so much. :D

  • Reply Eric Wood November 10, 2010 at 1:56 AM

    Thanks for the recipe. I did a double batch. I followed it exactly except no olives. Unfortunately, they came out too cakey and not real crisp, except for the ones on the outside. I think it’s really important to roll them super super thin. If you think it’s thin enough, keep rolling! Also, don’t skimp on the salt. I didnt want to overdo it, but found I didnt add enough. They really need the salt to kick them up. I’ll try again! I have them in the oven now on real low to see if I can crisp them up. I will crack this code. lol

  • Reply Eric Wood November 10, 2010 at 1:59 AM

    P.S. Here’s a trick…. after sprinking the salt on top before baking, gently roll it into the dough just a tiny bit to “secure” it on the dough. Otherwise the salt tends to fall off. It doesn’t all stick.

  • Reply liz February 9, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Rosemary is very easy to grow. I live close to Abilene, TX where the summers are very hot and usually dry. I planted a Rosemary bush when we moved here in 1996 and the thing is huge now. It seems to like the hot, dry weather. It’s great to go out to the bush and snip off whatever I need for cooking! It would probably do well as a potted plant too.

    • Reply The Purple Foodie February 9, 2011 at 11:21 PM

      That’s so fantastic – it’s quite hot here in Bombay, but on the two occasions I bought rosemary, it died. When I was in Italy, I collected some seeds from a plant, but unfortunately lost them all! I am growing thyme from a seed.. growing slowly, but beautifully. However, my sage just doesn’t sprout! I need to get my hands on some rosemary seeds soon….

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  • Reply Deepti Sharma May 24, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Hi Shaheen,

    Pls let me know if and where is Himalayan salt available in Mumbai?Also, all purpose flour is maida. Correct? Which cheese can I substitute for the on that u have mentioned? Thanks

    • Reply The Purple Foodie May 26, 2011 at 8:55 AM

      It’s not available here. Yes, all purpose flour is maida. Parmesan cheese is available at most supermarkets.

  • Reply Bhavna June 10, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Hi Shaheen – Do you think i can substitute parmesan cheese with regular grated cheddar cheese? Also will it be less flavourful if I add dried herbs and regular salt?

  • Reply Bhavna June 10, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Also, using a silpat won’t soften the bottom of the cracker – I read somewhere on your blog I think that it compromises the golden and crispy bottom of cookies?

  • Reply Bhavna June 10, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    Ok these were too tempting to wait for your response – so I went ahead with grated cheddar cheese, dried herbs, green olives instead of black and added an extra 2 cloves of garlic it turned out awesome (though not as pretty looking as yours). Took your advice to roll on the silpat (have the lekue but it worked just as well). It took however 20-22 minutes to get nice and crisp. Questions: Wat do you place the silpat on? My oven rack is much smaller than the size of the baking mat :( Also, what did you use to give the zigzag edging to the crackers? Thanks for this recipe – makes for an awesome snack. Am now very keen to try an orange-cranberry or cinammon sugar version!!

    • Reply The Purple Foodie June 11, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      Hi Bhavna,
      I love your enthusiasm! You can always tweak the recipe to adjust to your taste and ingredients available. When you change the type of cheese, the baking time changes too. So you need to keep an eye for browning. Crackers with the flavour of burnt cheese is a total waste of effort. Glad to know the substitutions worked for you.

      The Silpat doesn’t conduct heat, and therefore won’t give the golden crust that placing the cracker on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper will. It’s a small compromise for the wonders of Silpat.

      I got the zig zag edges by using a pastry wheel.

      Hope this helps!


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  • Reply Mary Young July 25, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Hi :) I made these for the first time yesterday and they were tasty but not crisp. Needless to say I loved them enough to make them again today as yesterday’s batch is long gone! This batch is even better! I did substitute gluten free flour, added another tbsp of cheese and mixed by hand.
    Love your website!!

    Bedminster NJ

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