When I was 14 years old I bought my first cookbook. "Menus for Entertaining" by Martha Stewart. These crackers were one of the first things I taught myself to make. Over the years I've changed the recipe a bit, using the food processor instead of the pastry cutter and adding chipotle instead of cayenne pepper. These are great with a salad, with a glass of wine or a chartcuterie board, and they are oh so easy. If you love cheese straws or cheese buttons I promise these will be a new favorite. Even if you don't like parmesan they are life changing. Best of all you can make them ahead.
1.5 Cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Stick of Unsalted Butter
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Ice Water
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Chipotle Pepper or To Taste
1/8-1/4 Cup Poppy Seeds
Preheat the oven to 375ºF
Note: All ingredients must be very cold.
In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulverize about 6 ounces of whole parmesan cheese into a medium fine grating about 1.5 cups. It will take about 30-45 seconds of processing. Make sure the cheese is cold.
Add dry ingredients to the cheese including the flour and seasoning. Pulse to mix.
Add cold butter that has been cut into small bits to the dry mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles a course meal being careful not to overwork.
In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons of ice water, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and the egg yolk.
With the food processor running pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they begin to come together into a ball. Don't over work.
Dump the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a log approximately 1.5 inches in diameter.
Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and plastic wrap. Cut into medallions about 1 quarter inch in thickness and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each cracker lightly with poppy seeds. I form mine a bit more circular as they tend to squish down when you cut them.
Bake for 10-20 minutes until golden and slightly brown on the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Once completely cool you may seal in an air tight container up to a few days.