Simply Photos

I have been back for almost two weeks, and while I haven’t baked anything particularly new yet (I will be, soon!) I did manage to be the sole chef for Thanksgiving (a week long process that was oh so worth it). I made a brined turkey, cornbread stuffing (cornbread from scratch!), candied yams with marshmallows (just boil those sweet potatoes [ope! Did I not tell you? Sweet potatoes are 'yams' yet yams aren't sweet potatoes...interesting...] and mash em up!), roasted garlic mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, slow-cooked green beans with shallots and pancetta, Pumpkin Cheesecake (oh goodness I’ll have to remake and share THAT recipe with you! Soooo GOOD) and Pumpkin pie, both with homemade pumpkin puree, because my grocery store ran out of canned pumpkin yet had a plethora of sugar pumpkins? Pumpkin shortage my pah-tootay. Oh…and rolls that I made earlier this year, found no use for at the time, then tossed them in the freezer, I just tossed them in the oven for a few minutes to thaw and warm. No bigs.

Anyway, I am recovered from that all-week ordeal. The past weekend consisted of randomly falling asleep and waking up on the couch three hours later, bewildered, and wondering what time and day it was and why I was here. Okay, exaggeration, but you get the idea if you volunteered for the extreme responsibility.

I got straight A’s this quarter at school! For my tenure there, I have always had that ONE professor who simply WILL NOT give you an A (you know what I’m talking about) its as if they’re allergic to it. Not this quarter! It was certainly a toughie, I was so busy I just sat in my room for work, only to emerge from the depths to get breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then went back to disappear again. I cannot believe I got an A in my photography course that I took. It seemed like that professor wanted a certain thing out of the photography from everyone. When I take food photography, I want to convey a level of deliciousness (but of course!) as well as an artistic quality. My final portfolio consisted of a combination of black and white and color images of cupcakes, muffins, and cookies, while still maintaining a collective balance. Her critique was good, but had its points to it, stating that she didn’t find black and white food photography appetizing. I agree with her, it isn’t, but I put those images in to give an artful addition. I have my second thoughts on it, but I’m pleased overall. The critique was constructive, and so that was helpful. I thought I would show you some of the pieces!





I think I’m going to dig into my inner architect and draw plans out for a gingerbread house. I’ll post soon! I PROMISE!

Happy Baking!
Clara

Diddy Dum Diddy Do


Nothing here but these boring cakes.

Supa dupa boring. I mean, simple white buttercream. Unadorned. Undecorated. Ungarnished.

Dull. Plain.

Yep. Bor-RAINBOW.
You saw it! A rainbow cake! This feller took forever to create, but it was so much fun to play with as well.

The batter was simple and delicious, very moist. However, I don’t know if it was just me, but I followed the recipe to a “T” but despite the toothpick coming out clean, the tops of the cakes felt almost unbaked, so I baked them five minutes longer than the recipe recommended. This didn’t dry the cakes out or cause them to be darkened on the edges, but the tops remained the same. Not sticky, but they left a divot. I just leveled them off and was fine and good, I just thought it was odd. I blame the butter.

Wait, what am I saying? Don’t blame the butter! The butter did nothing wrong!

In order to maintain even layers, I took the batter and weighed it in a separate bowl. This made more dishes, so I would weigh the mixing bowl first, write that weight down, then make the batter and weigh it, then take off the weight of the bowl. The batter, for me, weighed 3 pounds 10 ounces, so when that was divided into six portions, each would be 9.6667 ounces, or 9.7 ounces.

I don’t like math, but I do it for you all. You can thank me later.

Then I have to make this

    exponentially

important statement. I bolded it, but if you could do me a favor and imagine some flashing lights around it, that would be greatly appreciated.

DO NOT USE LIQUID FOOD COLORS ONLY USE GEL FOOD COLORS!

If you use liquid food colors, it would offset the delicate balance of liquid to dry ingredients in the batter, thereby messing with the baked product. In other words, it might make it too liquidy in the end with the amount of food color you might use.

Oh, gel food colors are probably about 5 or 6 times more concentrated than liquid food colors, so you will need a lot less. That’s important too. You can find them for cheap at your local craft store in the baking isle, or I get mine at a bakery supply store. You’ll find that they are super easy to use.

I’m telling ya, man, if you don’t use gel food colors, your layers will not be as blinding as these.

All in all, its a pretty normal sized cake once the layers are all stacked up, equalling to about the size of a tall double layer cake. Its not like you baked the amount of batter for three cakes, its basically the amount of a normal cake batter. Where is all this verbage and analyzing coming from? These colors are messing with my brain. Just think, if you make two of these cakes…

That would probably be my reaction too.

Even though the cake wasn’t that tall, it did require a lot of frosting, so I applied a relatively thin amount in between each layer. I do have to admit, I really don’t like massive amounts of frosting, so this amount was adequate, and I sliced really small slices. The one in the picture is an exception. Or was it? Don’t judge.

Now listen. Once your layers have been assembled, don’t dump on a massive amount of frosting and cover the cake right away. You might get crumbs to cover your cake, and we want to deceive! Any indication of color might make your cake followers curious! They may question! To prevent that, spread on a small amount of frosting all over the cake. Like in the picture, you will still see the cake layers pretty well. Now stick your cake in the freezer for about five or ten minutes.

Trust in Clara, you must.

It’s called a ‘crumb coat’, basically, the frosting will catch and hold onto the straying cake crumbs and hold them onto the cake when you frost. By sticking it in the freezer, the crumb coat becomes hard because of the butter, and so the crumbs are cemented to the thin layer of frosting, and they will not invade your lovely white buttercream which you will spread on the outside. The result? Boring, inconspicuous cake. Perfect method of deceit.

Bright and shiny. Ultra colorful. This cake is about as delicious as it is saturated in color. It will make a great birthday cake! Or if you get that sudden urge to make something wacky.

Rainbow Cake via Whisk Kid

White Cake (but not really)
Ingredients
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!

Method
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

American Buttercream (you may want to double this)
Ingredients
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
4 C. Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1 T. Vanilla Extract
2 T. Milk, plus more if needed

Method
1. In a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until fluffy, about one minute.
2. Add in powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until thoroughly combined.
3. Add in vanilla extract and milk. If the frosting is too thick, add in more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting achieves your desired consistency.
4. Frost!

Happy Baking!
Clara

Key Lime Cheesecake


This summer has really been a scorcher. In fact, just the other day our state broke its record for 100+ degree days. At just over 50 days (and maybe around 30 days IN A ROW) at a standard temperature of 105 or more, its a record I’d rather not have. It leaves me terrified to even put my dog outside, so I cut it into once an hour where I take him out to go potty, then back into the depths of an air-conditioned home he goes. Honestly, Avery doesn’t seem too bothered by it, he thoroughly enjoys air conditioning. In fact, when we got him from the breeder, we were overwhelmed by a slew of rowdy corgi puppies scampering indoors and out as their poor mother waddled after them, her tubby tummy dragging on the ground.

And then there was our puppy dog, laying on an air conditioning vent, happy as a clam. It was a match made in heaven.

Now he just hogs the AC vent.

So that begs the question; hot or cold? I am pretty cold-blooded, I get too cold very easily. I even get blue fingernails and purple toes, so a lot of times you will see me inside wearing a zip-up hoodie or a jacket, despite it being 100 degrees outside, AC just makes me too dang cold! On the other side, I’d much rather be cold than hot, because when you are cold you can just put on a jacket, a pair of pajama pants, or just settle underneath a warm blankie. When you’re hot, however, there’s pretty much no way out other than eating ice cream or drinking something chilly.

Or you can head to the Florida Keys and eat some Key Lime Pie. Or just stay where you are and have Key Lime Pie or Key Lime Cheesecake, what have you. Every time my dad goes to Tampa or the Keys on business, he always makes an effort to tell us about the Key Lime Pie, that’s his favorite thing! I don’t blame him, I don’t think I’ve been to Florida or than going to Disney World at the ages of 2 and 8, and I’m sure that if I were able to go any time soon (which I most likely can and will, since I’m so dang close!), I will make an executive effort to try an AUTHENTIC Key Lime Pie from the Keys. Until then, I’ll utilize the very nice and cute little key limes that they sell in little netted bags at the Grocery Store. The cute, tiny little limes that literally take me an hour to juice 1 cup out of. The precious, adorable little limes that always make me roar like Reptar out of frustration because the tiny little feller managed to get some juice in a cut that I didn’t even know I had.

The wittle, baby, itty-bitty, little limes that always perk up, without overpowering, fabulous key lime pies or other custard-like desserts in the most lovely of ways.

So I utilized the graham crackers that I had made (two posts ago) and made a graham cracker crust for some Key Lime Cheesecake (a light one, so everyone can be happy). I wanted to merge that almost overbearing lusciousness of the New York-style cheesecake with the tart lightness of the Key Lime Pie from the Florida Keys. Needless to say, it was a successful mission.

I chose to make the cheesecake tart, because otherwise, the cream cheese flavor could overbear it. Once the flavors meshed, they complimented each other nicely.
Light and luscious, this cheesecake alleviated the oppressive, and downright offensive, heat of the summer for a little relaxation. Whether on the patio with some sweet tea, or a delicatessen, or just hiding from the flames of heck that is the sunny outdoor heat.

So what are you waiting for? Give it a go!

Key Lime Cheesecake
Ingredients

    For the Crust

8 oz. Honey Graham Crackers, finely crushed
6 T. Unsalted Butter, melted
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 c. Sugar

    For the Filling

5, 8 oz. blocks Regular Cream Cheese (for light, use 3 blocks Light, and 2 blocks Nonfat)
1 1/4 c. Granulated Sugar (add 1/4 more if you want the mixture sweeter)
5 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks (for light, just use 4 eggs)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/4 c. plus 2 T. All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 C. Key Lime Juice, freshly-squeezed (alternatively, you can use regular limes)
1 tsp. Zest from Key Limes (alternatively, you can use regular limes)

Method
Stir together crust ingredients with a fork, then pour in the melted butter and stir so that the crumbs are moistened. Press this mixture into a 9 in. Springform pan that has been buttered. Wrap the outside with foil, making sure that the place where the pan parts connect is thoroughly covered. Place the pan into the freezer while you prepare the filling.

-Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
1. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheeses together thoroughly, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl every once in a while.
2. Pour in the sugar and mix until combined. Add in the juice and zest of the key limes and the vanilla. Taste the mixture at this point to make sure if it needs to be sweeter or more tart and adjust to your liking.
3. Mix in eggs, one at a time, making sure that there are no streaks of unmixed cream cheese floating around in the mixture, then add in the flour and salt.**
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan and place pan on a cookie sheet, or a baking dish in which the pan can fit into. Fill the baking dish with water, making sure that the water line is below where the foil ends. Gently place the pans into the oven and bake at 500 for 15 minutes, making sure to watch the top so that it does not burn.
5. Reduce temperature to 300 and bake the cheesecake for about an hour longer, until the cheesecake is almost firm (the center may slightly jiggle when you remove the cake, if it’s almost fluid-like or has the jiggle-factor of Jello, then it needs to return to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at a time until mostly firm.)
6. Remove cake from oven and run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the crust from the walls. Remove the pan from the water-bath and take off the foil. Allow the cake to cool for at least 3 hours, or until cool enough to touch. Place cake in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.

Enjoy!

**: OPTIONAL: To make the cake mixture seem a bit more “limey” in color, add a drop or two of kelly green gel food coloring with a drop of lemon yellow gel food coloring. Go by drops when it comes to the food coloring!

Happy Baking!
Clara

Orange Pound Cupcakes


As you all know, I have discussed pound cake in a past post. I just recently had a hankering to make a pound cake, well, recently as in this morning. Only this time, I wanted to make it orange flavor, utilizing both the zest and the juice to create the most flavorful essence.

Okay, I sound like I’m making some sort of perfume here! It’s been a busy past few weeks, time to wind down and make cupcakes. Pound cupcakes. Little pound cakes. Baby pound cakes. Pound Puppies.

Well, I already baked them at this point, so I’ll give you the option for the icing. The icing is simple, utilizing fresh orange juice, zest, and powdered sugar. It’s not too sweet, not too sour, it almost tasted like orange juice, which was what I was going for.

You have the option of either dunking your cupcakes in the icing.

Or spooning it on. Either way, try to get it to drip down the sides of the cupcakes or cake or drip into your stomach. I don’t judge.

The thing that I was really proud of with these cupcakes here was the face that they really gave me some purty pictures! I’ve been trying to get some more ‘food stylist-y’ in my photography without having to spend, I don’t know, the extra thousands and thousands of dollars that i have in the depths of my poor college student bank account. I fear I’ll never be as good as Matt Armendariz or Tartlette, but then again, they are professional photographers. I love looking at their work and getting inspired by it. All I can say is this, I love my camera, I love natural light, and I love Photoshop, that’s all I need.

So give them a go! You’ll be glad you did!

Orange Pound Cake with Sweet Orange Icing
Adapted from the Buttermilk Pound Cake recipe by Alton Brown
Ingredients
1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
8 ounces All-Purpose flour
8 ounces Granulated Sugar
The zest of 1/2 Orange
2 large Eggs
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, prepare 1 loaf pan by spraying with nonstick baking spray or rubbing with butter and dusting with flour, or line cupcake tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
1. Combine buttermilk and orange juice, set aside.
2. In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar together on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes (no less than this). Add in the seeds of the vanilla bean, salt, and orange zest and mix until evenly distributed.
3. While making sure to scrape down the bowl as you go, add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium speed until evenly mixed and distributed; around 2 minutes per egg. The mixture will be very creamy.
4. Starting and ending with the flour, alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk mixture until both are incorporated. Around three additions of flour and two of the buttermilk mixture.
5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, or distribute into cupcake tins, filling each liner around 2/3 full. Bake 40 minutes in the loaf pan, or 25 minutes in the cupcake tins. A toothpick will be clean when inserted into the center of each. Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack quickly. Allow the loaf to sit in the pan for ten minutes exactly, then loosen the edges with a knife and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool immediately.

Citrus Glaze
Recipe by Alton Brown

Ingredients
6 ounces powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice
Pinch kosher salt

Method
Add the powdered sugar, zest, juice, and salt to a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.

Drizzle immediately over the completely cooled cake or store glaze in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Stir well before using.

Happy Baking!
Clara

Graham Crackers


Graham crackers always seem to be a little daunting. They are crunchy, crumply, yet almost melt-in-your-mouth when they’re done right. I absolutely love anything graham cracker. Cinnamon flavor, nutmeg undertone, vanilla hint, and a slap across the face of honey. So yummy!
Well, I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and I took Deb’s word for it when she said that they tasted exactly like the storebought, which is a GOOD thing! Not only that, they DO taste like them! That’s the best thing about it! Let’s get started by pouring out the honey.

Then combining it with the milk
And whisking it together with the vanilla until its combined and a bit translucent, set aside.

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.

Toss in les chunks of beurre (the only word in French that I will ever know for sure), or butter, and blend until the mixture resembles meal.

Pour in the honey mixture and blend,

Until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. If your a good kid, you’ll chill this for a little while so it can firm up, but if you’re impatient like Aunt Clara, then you’ll just go for it and roll it out.

Roll it out to about a 1/8 inch thickness (this will ensure a crispier, more cracker-like cookie, if its thicker, which is fine, it will be softer and more ‘cookie’ like texture after baking).

Cut and dock the crackers, then you need to freeze them for the butter to firm up. THis will help flake up the cookies.

Yum! Enjoy these!


Ingredients

2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour (a swap of 1/2 cup with whole wheat flour or 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour works well here, too)
1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt (4 grams)
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons (77 grams) milk, full-fat is best
2 tablespoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extract

Topping (optional)
3 tablespoons (43 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground cinnamon

Method

Make the dough: Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.

[Alternately, if you don't have a food processor or electric mixer, you can cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender. Just make sure they're very well incorporated.]

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.

Roll out the crackers: Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers. [This makes a traditional graham cracker shape. I rebelled and made mine into 2-inch fluted squares with one of these.]

Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Decorate the crackers: Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough (again, this is for the traditional cracker shape). Using a toothpick or skewer (I like to use the blunt end of a wooden skewer for more dramatic dots), prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.

Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. [The baking time range is long because the original recipe calls for 25 minutes but my new oven -- which I suspect runs crazy hot but have yet to confirm with the actual purchase of an oven thermometer -- had them done in way less. Be safe, check them sooner. Nobody likes a burnt cracker!]

Happy Baking!
Clara

Pretzel Lovin’, Havin’ a Blast


I like pretzels.

I’m still living. Uber busy, but living. Attending class for 6 hours a day for four weeks to knock off 10 hours of college credits is a lot of work.

But it’s all worth it. Kind of like biting into a wonderfully salty and deeelish pretzel. I love pretzels. I’m obsessed. I bought a 1 pound bag of pretzels every week for six weeks in my first quarter of school, and yet Freshman 15 didn’t touch me. I’m not going to question this. I’m going to gloat.

So I got to thinking, “Sweet and salty, sweet and salty.” and thought, why not put them into my chocolate chip cookies! Seemed simple enough, it was, and boy howdy, it was lovely.

All I did was substitute half of the chocolate chips for broken pretzel pieces and continued on in hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Model.

What? Oh, sorry. Different topic…

I baked them according to the same parameters.

A pretzel is like a little heart, showin’ some lovin’. Enjoy these!

Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
Follow the same recipe and instructions listed in This Post, substituting 1 cup crushed pretzel pieces for the chocolate chips. Flatten slightly and top with a whole pretzel prior to baking.

Happy Baking!
Clara

Summer’s A’go


Oh, hi there, it’s been a while. Okay, a lot of a while. On the plus side, however, my first year of college is out of the way, and I am basically halfway finished with my Sophomore year. Yay transfer credits! It’s been a long road, I’m telling you, but I’ve done a lot of growing and maturing, I’ve learned a lot and maybe even forgot some, but all I know is that my first year of officially ‘growing up’ is starting and grueling. But it is a journey I’m willing and wanting to make.

As long as I have a kitchen.

I am a big fan of Smitten Kitchen, I think that her posts, recipes, and photography are all simply splendiferous (yes that’s a word. A word that I made up. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, wholeheartedly.) Anyway, I was just browsing around on her site (that random post button, it just calls!) and I noticed this I mean….WHAT. Homemade goldfish crackers? Abomination, blasphemy, why let go of the processed, smiley, happy, ready-to-be-eaten cheesy fish that I grew up loving! Too much!

I must make them mine.

Goldfish always were the exception to my aversion to cheese growing up. A lot of people were in certain disbelief of the fact that I never liked cheese growing up. I just didn’t. If it was on my plate, I avoided it. Only processed, American cheese (I know I know, gasp, ooh, ahh, ladida) was the kind that I turned to. Oh the delicious fake-ness that lay nestled in a small piece of cellophane, how I loved thee.

Anyway, I liked goldfish. I liked them a lot. I still do, and they contain cheddar. Well, I bought some sharp cheddar, just to be more ‘explorational’ and to up the flavor of a normally almost-bland cracker. The key, also, was to include onion powder. Next time, however, I might lower the amount, after a couple bites, there was just a bit too much of an onion flavor. Deb warns of this, and said that it was a like it/hate it kind of thing.

In a food processor, you combined the cheese, flour, onion powder, salt (I might add more next time, maybe to balance the onion-y flavor), and butter, and pulse until it forms a clump.

It actually took a little bit, and in the process, it warmed the dough.

So, Deb says to make the dough a disk and chill it until firm. I did so, it worked wonders.

I looked EVERYWHERE for a little goldfish cutter! Everywhere! Well, I did see the big ones, but I wanted a little one! Maybe next time! This time, an apple corer worked perfectly, it made the crackers about the same size as our familiar goldfish buddies. But they weren’t goldfish anymore! Now they were gold….things. Goldcircles, there we have it!

They were very easy and quick to bake, and they puffed up a bit, that was fun. They were crispy and flavorful, I would definitely make them again! Though, maybe next time, I might up the salt, to balance the onion, and maybe incorporate some other flavors. A dash of garlic powder? A touch of cayenne pepper to add some spice? The sky’s the limit!

Go for it! I’m home now, so there’s more to come!
Whole Wheat Goldfish Crackers
I swapped most (but not all, because I copped out) of the all-purpose flour in the original recipe for whole wheat flour, suspecting that we wouldn’t miss a thing and indeed, we did not. Should you make these with a full amount whole wheat flour (or any other mix of flours), please let us know how it went in the comments as I’m sure many will be curious.

I’d intended to make the eyes with a wooden skewer but couldn’t find one and used a drill bit instead (hi, honey!). Go ahead and press right through the cracker with the point; the “docking” will keep the cracker from puffing too much. I used the end of a grapefruit knife (the only thing I could think of that ended in a curve) to make the mouth.

I spied onion powder on the ingredient list of the original crackers and included it because onions and cheddar are a fantastic combination. You’ll barely taste it, so if you wish get more of a hint of onion, use 1/4 teaspoon instead.

Finally, the higher amount will give you a familiar level of saltiness, i.e. almost as salty as the original cracker. Understandably, many will probably prefer the smaller amount.
Ingredients
Yield: About 100 1 1/4 inch goldfish

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups coarsely grated) sharp cheddar, orange if you can find one you like
4 tablespoons (2 ounces or 57 grams) butter
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces or 62 grams) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (1 1/8 ounces or 31 grams) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon table salt

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, running the machine until the dough forms a ball, about two minutes.

If the dough feels warm or worrisome-ly soft, wrap it in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes. This also makes it easier to transfer shapes once they are rolled out.

On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out 1/8-inch thick. Form shapes with a cookie cutter, dipping it in flour from time to time to ensure a clean cut. Gently transfer crackers to an ungreased (though mine were parchment-lined, because they are in despicable shape) cookie sheet with a 1/2 inch between them. Bake the crackers on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are barely browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

Happy Baking!
Clara