Putting jelly on the Ritz
January 5, 2013 10:52 AM   Subscribe

What's the best possible cracker to support and complement homemade jalepeño jelly and cream cheese?

Right now I use Keebler Club Crackers (1st option) or plain Ritz (2nd choice). I love the buttery flavor of the Clubs, and appreciate the sturdy support of the Ritz. For myself, these usually suffice. However I am giving some jelly as a gift and so am exploring fancier options.

I have access to the usual supermarkets, as well as more niche stuff like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Erewhon. I won't be ordering online this time, but if that's the only way to get 'em then I'll take your suggestions for that as well. Thanks!
posted by saguaro to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Without a doubt, Stoned Wheat Thins.
posted by Red Loop at 11:04 AM on January 5, 2013 [6 favorites]

I find the Carr's family of crackers to be both delicious AND classy.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 11:19 AM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Look at While Foods for Raincoast Crisps. They are delicious in any variety!
posted by Swisstine at 11:25 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm a Wheat Thin advocate for this situation. For fancy, Carr's Water Crackers are always a good bet.
posted by Sara C. at 11:29 AM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Those Raincoast Crisps look like the sort of fanciful crackerish thing I was looking for. I will definitely sample a box of those.

I'm trying to stay away from the no-flavor and thin brittleness of Carr's and the like. They'll hold a square of cheese or meat, but don't stand up well to spreading cream cheese.
posted by saguaro at 11:44 AM on January 5, 2013

I have always used Triscuits for my jalapeño jelly+cream cheese snacks. And those Raincoast Crisps are amazing as well. I've not tried them with jelly/cream cheese but the Cranberry Hazelnut ones with a years-aged gouda? Ridiculously good.
posted by likeplus at 11:45 AM on January 5, 2013

Wheat thins makes a new, triangle shaped crisp that we used for our gallons of blue cheese, Gorgonzola dip we made for the holidays. Very good and looks nice. Several flavors too.
posted by pearlybob at 11:51 AM on January 5, 2013

Just to be clear the Stoned Wheat Thins I linked to above are not at all like the standard Nabisco"wheat thins" you usually find in the supermarket (though I think Red Oval Farms is also owned by Nabisco).
I don't find them bland, personally, but apparently many people do.
posted by Red Loop at 12:00 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Vicky Crackers
posted by toodleydoodley at 12:02 PM on January 5, 2013

Red Loop, that's the article I was reading as well.
posted by saguaro at 12:03 PM on January 5, 2013

A simple homemade, like parmesan crisps? (Just because homemade is going to be tasty -- I'm not entirely sure that's the correct compliment to the jelly)

Plain is a good way to go; +1 Carr's Table Water or a cream cracker (like this). If it is a substantial amount of jelly and cream cheese I might go for the exciting presentation of a big tub of SkyFlakes; SkyFlakes are sort of like a premium Premium Plus, very tasty and rich saltines.

If I was shopping for myself to experiment with some jelly I was excited about I would probably buy the Carr's Entertainment Cracker Collection.
posted by kmennie at 12:19 PM on January 5, 2013

Mary's Organic Crackers are gluten free and delicious. They are made from brown rice and quinoa and have a distinctive "nutty" flavour that goes well with mild cheese. Rainforest Crisps are also really good as mentioned above.
posted by smartypantz at 12:25 PM on January 5, 2013

Red Loop is right -- Stoned Wheat Thins are the ticket. I wouldn't say bland -- they're good by themselves -- but IMO you're not looking for something to compete with the pepper/cheese topping.
posted by LonnieK at 12:55 PM on January 5, 2013

but IMO you're not looking for something to compete with the pepper/cheese topping.

I am though! My favorite personal-use cracker for this, the Keebler Club, has a rich, buttery flavor that compliments (doesn't compete with) the jalepeno/cheese combo. A mouthful of cracking cardboard under these toppings is not what I'm looking for.
posted by saguaro at 12:59 PM on January 5, 2013

I just made my own crackers for the first time, and they were a huge hit. If you're already giving homemade jelly, why not homemade crackers as well? The recipe I used is from the book "Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It," and can be found here.

Otherwise, a fancier Ritz/Keebler Club alternative available at Whole Foods is the Classic Rich Crackers from Late July. (Amazon link for reference.) The Late July products are surprisingly tasty, and having tried store brand alternatives from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, I'm confident in saying they're noticeably more flavorful (and yes, buttery, rich, etc.).
posted by ariela at 1:25 PM on January 5, 2013

I don't mean to keep pressing the Carr's, but they actually have something that's not the water cracker --- I can't remember what it's called, but it's basically a Ritz, but bigger and fancier. Very buttery and dense.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 1:51 PM on January 5, 2013

basically a Ritz, but bigger and fancier

Cheese Melts? Poppy and Sesame? Both delicious...

Now that you have established that you ARE looking to compete with the toppings: CheeseCrisps. "Huge 22-ounce bag of Cheddar & Asiago" FTW
posted by kmennie at 2:52 PM on January 5, 2013

Carr's makes a water cracker with black pepper in it that is fabulous with cream cheese and pepper jelly. They have a definite heat which is different to and complements the pepper jelly burn. I have never had a problem spreading cream cheese on them, and actually find them less crumbly than buttery crackers like Ritz.
posted by apricot at 7:09 PM on January 5, 2013

My family always uses rice crackers for this combo. They complement the flavors nicely.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:25 PM on January 5, 2013

Carr's as a light fancy cracker to include in a gift basket is perfect. Dipping into pepper jelly covered soft cream cheese with a fancy blue corn chip is also delicious.
posted by maggieb at 10:30 PM on January 5, 2013

I just realized I usually get whipped cream cheese, which my be why I don't have the brittleness problems with water crackers that you describe. Just a thought!
posted by apricot at 6:51 AM on January 6, 2013

Vinta crackers are the best for damn near anything. Light and buttery, but structurally sound enough for dipping, plus very flavourful. We use them for pepper jelly and cream cheese, spinach dip, cheese plates, cream cheese/seafood sauce/diced peppers/mozza, or for anything else really.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:36 AM on January 6, 2013

We go lowbrow here at our place in North Carolina and put our cream cheese and pepper jelly on Keebler Town House Flipsides. They're part pretzel, part delicious buttery cracker. Nothing fancy, but we love them at our house (when we keep junk food in the pantry).
posted by kayebee at 12:32 PM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm going to sound completely plebian for this, but: ordinary Ritz crackers. They have just enough sweetness to complement, without overwhelming, the jelly & cheese.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:08 PM on January 6, 2013

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