See the Recipe. James Baigrie

Clementine Paddleford, one of the world’s most influential food writers, helped pioneer the chronicling of America’s food traditions. She got the recipe for this appetizer from her mother, Jennie.

Cracker Puffs Cracker Puffs
This recipe, though basic, takes crackers to a tastier dimension.
Yield: serves 4-6


  • 20 unsalted soda crackers
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 tsp. grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • Caraway seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Soak crackers in a medium bowl of ice water, a few at a time, until slightly swollen and soft, about 20 seconds. (Don’t soak too long, or they’ll disintegrate.) Arrange softened crackers in a single layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.
  2. Whisk egg white in a small bowl until very soft peaks form. Brush each cracker with some of the egg white, then sprinkle each with 1⁄4 tsp. of the grated parmigiano-reggiano and a pinch of the caraway seeds. Bake until slightly puffed and golden, 7–10 minutes.