Savory Parmesan-Rosemary Shortbread Rounds

January 17, 2009


I had something of a wheat thin addiction in college.  For an entire summer, I am fairly certain I went to the grocery store almost exclusively for those yellow boxes and, well, beer.  I’m not proud.  But, for the record, we did throw at least a few backyard barbecues and I remember making a fresh salsa (wondering how the heck one removed the little leaves of cilantro from the stems) and helping my friend Louie make ribs (on a industrial size charcoal grill he’d “borrowed” from his fraternity).  But, back to the wheat thins.


After college, I became intrigued by all the letters on those wheat thin boxes.  And I’m not talking about n-a-b-i-s-c-o.  I’m talking about the quadruple-plus-syllabled-words in the ingredients list.  I investigated, became icked out and quit wheat thins cold turkey.  I miss those salty, crunchy little squares more than I care to admit.


And that’s why I am on a mission to fill the void they left in my heart.  It started with savory biscotti.  And then I made some cheese straws (not. one. photo., which is a terrible shame because they were darn tasty).  And now I’ve found these lovelies: savory parmesan shortbreads.


With a process similar to slice-and-bake cookies, these are a make-ahead dream-come-true.  They’re also delicious—nutty, buttery, browned around the edges and flecked with rosemary.  In the end they’re not much like my once-beloved wheat thins at all—but, you know what?  They’re way, way better.

Savory Parmesan-Rosemary Shortbread Rounds
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix flour, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic, rosemary and cayenne pepper in processor. Add butter and, using on/off turns, process until dough begins to come together.* Gather dough into ball. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into 12-inch log, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.  Slice each log into thin rounds and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.  Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over the rounds.

Bake shortbread rounds until tops are dry and bottoms are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer shortbread rounds to rack and cool completely.

*  My dough was rather dry at this point, so I added a splash or two (1 – 2 tablespoons) of milk, which did the trick.

28 Responses to “Savory Parmesan-Rosemary Shortbread Rounds”

  1. radish Says:

    Seriously, I miss the Wheat Thins too – and those ingredients are scary. This looks terrific!

  2. I have been wanting to try a cracker recipe. This might have been the recipe that peaked my interest in bon appetit.

  3. Amanda Says:

    OK, I am going to admit my addiction to those damn tasty things as well. I think my friends and I would plow through boxes of them when we were in high school. And we definitely demolished the costco sized ones when we’d have our crazy college nights. My favorite guilty combination was wheat thin + peanut butter + semi-sweet chocolate chips. Talk about utter junk food! It was so good. I still dream about that yummy treat.

  4. carolina Says:

    This is a great recipe to use for entertaining. Gonna try it. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. culinarycory Says:

    Step aside Keebler Elves…I’m wanting shortbread rounds!

  6. sue bette Says:

    perfect – I’ve been looking to add something beyond crostini to a cheese plate and I love that I don’t have to roll these out so thin. I can’t wait to try these!!

  7. eggsonsunday Says:

    I’ll own up to loving Wheat Thins in a previous phase of my life, too (actually, now that I think about it, it was college for me, too!) But you’re right; these look soooooo much better. Sounds like they’d be great as an accompaniment to a cheese plate with some wine! -Amy

  8. Lauren Says:

    i want these. My forays into cracker making have been a bit disappointing- this seems more like cookie making, which I know i can do.

  9. Amber Says:

    What could I use instead of a food processor? I have a blender and a stand mixer. Would either of those work? Thanks and they sound wonderful!

  10. Mulried Says:

    King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook has a really simple recipe for Wheat Thins. They taste just like the ones in the yellow box! Just thought you’d like to know.

  11. Jeanne Says:

    These look fantastic! Have you considered sumbitting them to this month’s Waiter, There’s Something in My… event? They fit the theme perfectly 🙂

  12. Those look great! Have you ever thought to make them with whole wheat flour so they’d be more Wheat Thin-y?

  13. diane (mom) Says:

    These look fabulous,can’t wait to try them.I also loved the menu themed entry and love to see what you put together! Love, MOM

  14. GS Says:

    Just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for the Cream Biscuits recipe. I made them this afternoon and immediately had one (right out of the oven) with butter and a cup of tea! Delicious!

  15. Polly Says:

    I’ve never tried to make crackers (also guilty as charged on the wheat thin addiction) and this looks like the divine opportunity to take the plunge. Though I’m still trying to get that salted caramel ice cream out of my head and into fruition as well!

  16. Aaron Says:

    UMM, talk about paranoid people, the following from wheat thins, the only thing remotely scary is the monoglycerides (fat from animal/vegetable or artificial) is the only thing that is a little scary considering there is not too much fat in wheat thins. From the amount of butter in this recipe, I’m sure the fat content is similar. I can’t stand writers that invent drama with misguided information. And, most of the big words you probably can’t understand are vitamins. ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID), SOYBEAN OIL, WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, CORNSTARCH, MALT SYRUP (FROM BARLEY AND CORN), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, MONOGLYCERIDES, SALT, VEGETABLE COLOR (ANNATTO EXTRACT, TURMERIC OLEORESIN), SOY LECITHIN. CONTAINS: WHEAT, SOY.

  17. Guru Says:

    Oooooh! this is love at first sight! I´m going to try them next weekend. Thank´s!

  18. duodishes Says:

    Why is this recipe so easy! If the world knew they could make crackery crisps at home, Nabisco, Keebler and Carr’s would be done for!

  19. Robin Says:

    Kristin, this is the perfect way for me to get my slice-and-bake fix while I’m still in the post-holiday anti cookie mode. Yay.

  20. cassie Says:

    holy moly. i love your recipes! i want to cook these NOW! haha.

  21. radish: I’m not alone!

    whitney: Epicurious did it for me.

    Amanda: Let’s just say it’s a very very good thing I didn’t know about the PB/choc chips idea in wheat thin days. : )

    carolina: I hope you try it!

    culinary cory: Ha!

    sue bette & amy: I served these with salami. So good. The recipe killed both the cheese and cracker birds with one stone.

    Lauren: I do think cookie proficiency helps. Go for it!

    Amber: I think you could use a hand held pastry cutter (as though you were cutting butter into a pie dough).

    Muldried: Thanks for the tip! I am definitely going to check that out.

    Jeanne: I’ll check it out!

    sweetandnatural: Not a bad idea. I made these for New Year’s Eve, so I was “splurging” with the AP flour.

    mom: Thanks!

    GS: Yay! So glad you liked the biscuits! Thanks for reporting back.

    Polly: No contest — make the ice cream first. : )

    Aaron: I kid about the “scary” part in my post, but not about my idea of healthy eating, which involves as many fresh, natural, homemade items as possible. Everyone’s got a different take on it, I think.

    Guru: Let us know how it goes!

    duodishes: I know!

    Robin: Ha! So true.

    cassie: Thank you! I hope you give these a try.

  22. Dawn in CA Says:

    These look easy and delicious. Thanks for posting! Oh, and to Aaron… hello? This is a food blog. She’s not inventing drama, she’s creating crackers. 🙂

  23. Aaron Says:

    LOL, ok, maybe I need to take a chill pill. 🙂

  24. Aggie Says:

    Oh my, I would probably be able to eat this whole recipe in one sitting, now THAT is scary!! These look awesome and I am going to have to impress my friends with these at my next party!! Great recipe!

  25. LilSis Says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! The crackers look marvelous! I’m actually afraid to make them as I would probably eat the whole batch! I’ll make these up next time I have friends over for Happy Hour!

  26. Doug Taylor Says:

    Plagiarism! This recipe is lifted word-for-word from Charles Hockett’s “Home Baking” (2002 edition, page 352).

  27. Doug: As I state above, I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit. The Bon Appetit recipe is located here.

  28. Penny Klett Says:

    Will be trying this soon – similar to a recipe I have with cheddar. Love your blog, Kristin. There are few recipes that are completely original anymore. All we can do is credit our sources as you did.

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