Crackers & Dips - Inside the Cookbook
Crackers & Dips, More Than 50 Homemade Snacks, by Ivy Manning, is one of the most interesting cookbooks I've come across. Who would think to make homemade crackers? Ivy Manning is who, and she can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the subject. It's neat that a cracker width is about the size of a penny. This book includes everything from the recipes and ingredients to how to roll the crackers out and what kind of dip to serve with it. Perfect for a snacker like me.
I was a little disappointed in the lack of pictures. While there are several, many of the unique recipes, unknown to me, didn't have one and I think that addition would have been helpful.
The book does have a good flow and is adequately organized. One of my favorite recipes included is the Frico with Basil: makes 14 wafers, use 1 cup of finely grated hard cheese (she lists several options which I loved) 14 small, fresh basil leaves. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Measure level tablespoons of the cheese and space them 2 inches apart in little mounds on the prepared sheets. Bake until the cheese has spread and become lacy looking and the edges have begun to turn golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Rotate the pans once from top to bottom and from back to front during baking. Watch carefully; if some crackers are beginning to brown too much before the others are done, transfer them to paper towels and return the undone ones to the oven. Allow to cool for 3 minutes and then transfer to paper towels to absorb any excess fat. Transfer to an air tight container. They can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. So good!
Did I mention this book even includes recipes for dessert crackers? Fun.
Columnist Pamela Robinson: Pamela is an author and reviewer.