The blog’s local food correspondent Maple Trout Lilli just dropped off a plate of fresh crackers and cheese. I’m struggling to save one tiny little shard for Chief of Operations who is too busy to eat. (Change of weather: We’re collecting sap now.)
Maple Trout Lilli writes:
I recommend placing a thin slice of your favorite VT cheese …hard, sharp cheddar or soft creamy, tart Brie, onto the most delectable of crackers. The combination of crunch, slight maple sweetness and ever-so-tart cheese will do for to your taste buds what above freezing temperatures and sunshine are doing to the sugar maples this spring. Enjoy two local, unique products whose flavor should invoke your own personal images of the beautiful place we call home. Spread the Joy!
WHOLE WHEAT MAPLE CRACKERS
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup maple sugar + more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into ½ inch pieces
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup + more for brushing
Pinch of coarse sea salt or to taste
Optional dried rosemary [Editor’s note: not optional to my mind]
In a food processor, combine both flours with ¼ cup maple sugar and salt. Pulse to mix, Scatter cold butter on top and pulse until a coarse meal forms. Add water and ¼ cup of maple syrup and pulse until the dough comes together when you pinch it. Scrape out onto a work surface and press together. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and shape into disks; wrap in plastic and chill for an hour or longer.
Preheat oven 400 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, dust 1 disk of dough with flour. Roll out dough into a 12-inch round and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat. Brush with syrup and sprinkle with maple sugar and a bit of coarse sea salt. Second time around I added a sprinkling of dried rosemary onto before baking for a more savory flavor.
Bake for 18 minutes, until crisp; shift the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Transfer to racks and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Break into shards.
-MTL, Inspired by Justin Chapple