This recipe is part of Crispianity: a column devoted to all foods crispy and crunchy, two of the most underappreciated attributes of a great dish. Author Adeena Sussman is a food writer and recipe developer, pairing here with her friend, photographer Evan Sung. Sussman’s most recent cookbook, co-authored with Lee Brian Schrager, is Fried and True: More Than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides.
Deeply crispy, crunchy snacks are a vice I’m simply unwilling to resist, and I like to make them myself whenever possible. That’s why I’m currently obsessed with this recipe for sweet-salty, crispy-crunchy crackers updated from of a Sussman family classic, tzibbeleh kuchen (onion cookies). It’s passed down from my late grandmother, who often had a plate of them on the kitchen table at her house in Queens, NY. Hers hewed to tradition: soft, yeast-risen and savory all the way, puffy little rounds that tasted like the love-child result of a steamy affair between a bialy and a focaccia. I fused her recipe with another old-school family favorite: sweet, sugary poppy-seed (munn) cookies. But I reduced the sugar ordinarily in the poppy cookies, then replaced fresh onions with dried and eliminated the yeast in the onion cookies to ensure a shatteringly crispy texture. Stored in an airtight container they freeze like a dream, allowing you to stock up for times when nothing but a deep dose of crispy crunchiness will do.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper, finely ground
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/3 cup dried onion flakes, plus more for sprinkling
- flaky sea salt for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and oil.
- Whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, onion flakes, baking powder, salt and pepper and add to the egg mixture with the poppy seeds and onions flakes.
- Mix with a wooden spoon, then using lightly oiled hands, knead the dough into a cohesive ball, about 30 seconds.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal-sized pieces.
- Roll one piece of dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thickness.
- Peel away the top piece of parchment.
- Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out cookies and remove dough scraps for rerolling.
- Transfer cut-out crackers on parchment to a baking sheet, prick with a fork, brush lightly with water and sprinkle with poppy seeds, onions and flaky salt, pressing them in lightly with your hands.
- Bake until golden brown and crisp, 12 minutes.
- Transfer to baking racks to cool (for extra crispness, bake a second time for 3-4 minutes). Crackers can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
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