Even accomplished bakers may not have thought about making crackers from scratch. You needn't be an expert to pull off the straightforward, sophisticated recipes Chowhounds recommend, however. And let's face it: Homemade crackers are bound to impress guests.
Cheese crackers are popular with hounds, especially when the crackers include nuts or spices. These Gorgonzola and pistachio shortbreads were a "huge hit," says Transplant_DK. For splatgirl, cheddar-pecan crisps are a holiday tradition, while skippy66 says it "doesn't get any better than" Parmesan–black pepper biscotti.
For a simpler alternative, TrishUntrapped is a fan of "very cheesy" Parmesan crisps, which are made from nothing but coarsely shredded Parmesan. They go well with dips, but TrishUntrapped loves them best as is. To make them, spoon tablespoons of grated cheese onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in rounds. Place them in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool for about 1 minute, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. (You can also make cheese crisps in a frying pan, as Karen Solomon does in this CHOW Tip video using provolone.)
If a leaner, cheeseless alternative appeals to you, try making rosemary crackers, which Cynsa calls a "go-to fave." Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease two baking sheets. Combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Next, stir in 2/3 cup warm water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and lots of chopped rosemary. Mix until a smooth dough forms, and divide it in half. Using your hands, flatten one half of the dough onto each prepared pan, covering the whole pan. Using a knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough into pieces on the pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until dry and golden.
This recipe has other fans as well. "I'm completely crazy about these [rosemary crackers]—super easy, delicious, inexpensive, beautiful," raves THewat. "One of my favorite hostess gifts ever." splatgirl makes a similar cracker using extra-virgin olive oil and part whole-wheat flour, and she says that poppy, sesame, or nigella seeds are good alternatives to rosemary for seasoning.