It’s All About that “Base”


I have a great tip that I want to share with everyone.  Like the catchy song, All About that Bass, by Meghan Trainor, I have to tell you, it really is all about that “base”.  If you have a great base recipe that you just love, use it and then ad lib on experimenting with all of the other “add in” ingredients that are separate from the base!

If you have a great cookie recipe, change out the chocolate chips and put in white chocolate chips or peanut butter chips.  If you have a great muffin recipe, swap out the main “add in” ingredients for some chopped apples and cinnamon or bananas and walnuts.  Like me, if you discover that great base recipe that is fool proof (especially at high altitude), the combinations that you can add to it are endless.  It is such a simple, maybe obvious tip that helped me years ago and I hope it helps you too!

Here is a recipe that I have used as a “base” for the most delicious crackers.  I have tried just about every combination there is and they come out great every time so wanted to share.  If you come up with a fun combination of ingredients for these crackers, would love to hear about it!

Lemon & Thyme Crackers

1 stick Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour (reduce to 1 1/4 cups for sea level)
1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
1-3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
Kosher Salt or Fleur de Sel, for sprinkling

In the bowl of a standard electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until creamy
and smooth. Add in flour, thyme, zest, lemon juice and cardamom and beat until
combined. You may have to add in an additional tablespoon or two of lemon juice until the dough easily comes together.  Gather dough and place onto lightly floured sheet of parchment paper.  Using rolling pin, roll out dough until 1/4″ thick.  Slip baking sheet under sheet of parchment paper holding rolled out dough and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in freezer for approximately 1 hour or until completely chilled and almost frozen.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Remove baking sheet from freezer, transferring parchment paper to the counter.  Using a knife or cookie cutter, cut out dough into small squares or circles.  Place cut-outs approximately 2” apart onto parchment lined baking sheets  . Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown (watch these closely after 10 minutes as the thinner the dough, the quicker they will brown). Let cool for approximately 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle
with kosher salt or fleur-de-sel (I love Trader Joe’s). Store in airtight container for up to a week or as many of you already know, these freeze really well for a party!  It was one of the top recipe requests during the party!

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