Last weekend, I was trying to sell my boyfriend on the idea of blue cheese and walnut cornbread. I thought it was brilliant; he did not. I even tried rebranding the idea as a gorgonzola- walnut polenta cake, but he still thought it sounded awful.
So naturally, I had to give it a whirl, out of spite. The results were surprising. Matt was way into it.
I, on the other hand, was not.
But I still had half a hunk of blue cheese, a bag of walnuts, and the urge to bake something awesome, so I decided to take another route and use the combination to make something I knew would be right up my alley: a crispy, crunchy batch of crackers.
We’re going to take a biscotti approach to making these, meaning they’ll be twice-baked. We’ll start by mixing up a very wet cornbread-like loaf. Flour, cornmeal, soda, salt meet honey and buttermilk. We’ll liven it up with crumbled blue cheese, walnuts, rosemary, and black pepper. The batter will look like a disaster, but trust me on this one; if we cut back on the liquid, we’d end up with something crumbly and impossible to cut. Bake until lightly golden and cool.
Cut the loaf crosswise as thinly as you can and return the slices to the oven for the second baking. Keep an eye on them and flip halfway through- crackers can go from crunchy to burny very quickly. Remove from the oven when they are deeply golden and super crisp.
This is the point where I’d love to tell you these will keep for days and you could make them in advance if you’re entertaining. Good luck with that. Ours didn’t even make it through the evening. Judge not.
- ½ c. All-Purpose Flour
- ½ c. Cornmeal
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- ¼ tsp. Black Pepper, coarsely ground
- 1 tsp. Minced Rosemary
- 1 c. Buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp. Honey
- ½ c. Walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ½ c. Blue Cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8″x4″ loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, pepper, and rosemary.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk and honey until blended.
- Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and incorporate, using just a few quick strokes. Fold in the walnuts and blue cheese and pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until lightly golden, about 35 minutes. Cool the loaf completely (in fact, refrigerating for several hours or overnight will make it easier to slice) before proceeding.
- Preheat oven to 300°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the cool loaf as thinly as you can without the slices falling apart. Place the slices on the prepared pans and bake 15-20 minutes, flip and bake another 15-20 minutes on the other side until deeply golden and very crisp. The baking time will vary, based on the thickness of your slices, so watch carefully. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.