Category Archives: Crackers

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

Homemade Graham Crackers

I hope you guys have had a great weekend and are planning to have a great memorial day. I’ve had a good/great weekend. Have I had a great weekend?

‘Course I did! I graduated high school!
Yay for not being a kid anymore.
Yay for not having to worry about the three papers a day in English class (okay, a week)!
Yay for…
Alright, I’m done now. Let’s make graham crackers.
(oh, those be my sisters. Catherine on the left, Christine on the right)

Let’s start off by gathering your dry ingredients. Into a separate bowl, put together 1 1/2 cups of All Purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour (which you can find in the baking isle as well, its becomming pretty common), 1/2 cup wheat germ (something that’s a little hard to find. For some reason, I found mine in the kosher/organics isle of my local grocery store, but you can definitely find it at any health food store. It makes things a bit more…wheaty? Is that a word? Well, it is now. It also makes everything a bit more nutritious as well.), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Whisk and set aside, your ready to good in this area.

Now, git’cha sum butter, brown sugar, and honey and put into a bowl (use your stand mixer, folks, I regretted doing this by hand later on, it gets a bit hard to stir.) and stir until all the little bits of butter are gone and the mixture is light and fluffy.

Dump in your dry ingredients in increments and stir. You know, the ‘uge (or is it ‘use? ‘uss? ‘ushe? I’m going to go harp on this for a few minutes.)

Now, forget to take pictures of you rolling out the graham crackers to a nice and thin thickness. I do them a little teeny bit thicker because I like a crumbly, not crisp, consistency. But you do as you would like :).

Pizza wheels are one of man’s greatest creations. We don’t eat pizza in our family (put down your pitch forks, I won’t continue until you do.). But I use mine for various baking things. You can use them for scones, cutting gumpaste, fondant, crackers, what have you. It’s just wonderful. Anyway, slice the crackers into long rectangles (after a nice chill out in the freezer) and do the same in the other direction, you’ll either get squares or rectangles, depending on how precise you are. Me? I got me a few triangles in there somehow too.

Dock the squares, rectangles, triangles, parallelograms, pentagons, aliens with a fork about four times. Or whatever you see fit, it makes them look like graham crackers. Bake them all together for 8-9 minutes. Me? I cut them a bit thicker, so it took them about 15 minutes, and I took them out when the edges of the entire sheet were light golden brown, any darker than that and they just taste burned to me.

Remove, cool, and enjoy! Heck, on memorial day, why don’t you roast some marshmallows and sandwich them between chocolate and two of these! Delish.

Homemade Graham Crackers
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup untoasted wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons high-quality honey

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.
Put butter, brown sugar, and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and divide into quarters. Roll out each piece between 2 sheets of floured parchment paper into rectangles a bit larger than 9 by 6 inches, about 1/8 inch thick.
Using a fluted pastry wheel, trip the outermost edges or each rectangle, and divide into three 6 by 3-inch rectangles. Pressing lightly, so as not to cut all the way through, score each piece in half lengthwise and crosswise, to form four 3 by 1 1/2-inch crackers. Stack parchment and dough on a baking sheet and chill in freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.
Remove two sheets of dough from freezer. Pierce crackers using the tines of a fork. Transfer to large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, rotating halfway through, until dark golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cool on sheet 5 minutes; transfer crackers to wire racks to cool completely.

Happy Baking!
Clara