These lovely little crackers first came onto my radar from Elaine at Foodbod. While I do eat some grains and pasta, I’m always trying to limit those, and Elaine has been an inspiration to me. I suppose I could have just posted a link to her crackers, but that would just be a bit too easy, and I do like to tell a story! And I selfishly wanted them here on my blog so I wouldn’t have to look them up!
See, Elaine talks about her relationship with food, “Food should be about Fun, Health and Happiness.” She’s successfully made a shift off of the Standard American (SAD) Diet, but I’d doubt she’d ever say so. Nor would she preach. Or look down at anyone. What she does is just do what she does, follows her own rules, and by example, inspires others, probably all without knowing.
Her cooking style is quite a bit different than mine – she’s like my genius sister-in-law who just whips things together. I grew up baking and one of my first rules learned in the kitchen? Turn the pot handles to the back of the stove. The second? Measure carefully and accurately and level off all ingredients! So it was with some trepidation that I mixed one of Elaine’s many cracker recipes up. See, it called for about two cups of nuts and/or seeds.
Now nuts vary in size and shape and two cups of one would be quite different from two cups of another. “How could this be?” the baker in me asked. Well, it doesn’t matter. Not a whit. Duh, I realized – if you’re not worried about flour, baking powder or yeast or anything else that needs chemistry to figure out, it’s not a problem. The egg is enough to bind, and if the mixture isn’t quite spreadable, well a touch of water thins it out beautifully.
A few things I found along the way?
- Make sure to have parchment. (It can be reused – try folding it into a square and sticking it in your freezer door to keep it fresh.) These are impossible to roll without the addition of some type of flour without the parchment, and too difficult to handle in their warm state.
- If you have rings for your rolling pin, use them. I’ve had some for 20 so years, and never used them, so it was a great time to pull them out. They’ll keep your crackers uniform through-out. The dough will just ooze down the center and the thickness is perfect.
- I did cut them the first time with a pizza cutter, the second I went fancy. See, when I went looking for my rings, I found my fancy pastry cutter. I don’t bake pastry very often any longer, so it was fun to pull out the box of equipment. See, I’m a show off! 🙂
- As this bakes, it fills up the house with a lovely aroma and a peek in the oven to see what’s going on might be a bit scary. The crackers get a little soft and oozy, but don’t worry, don’t touch them – they will turn into crackers.
- After the crackers have baked, turn them onto a rack by inverting a rack over the crackers, then turning the whole works over. Peel off the paper. Turn off the oven, separate the crackers and place the crackers on the rack back into the oven (crack the oven door and keep open with a wooden spoon) and leave them until cool for a cracker that is a bit crisper. The thinner the cracker, the crispier.
- It takes a lot of flavoring to get anything more than a “subtle” flavor in these crackers. Oh, yeah, and don’t go overboard on the poppy seed, like I did.
I thought these crackers would be the perfect thing for my Red Lentil Soup with Coconut and Curry, and I was right. They were great with the soup, and the next day, when the soup was cold and rather thick, these crackers made a perfect dipper for my soup, right out of the fridge!
So thanks, Elaine, for being an inspiration and for the lovely crackers! I made these with my home-made Adobo seasoning. Who knows what the next batch will be! 🙂
Elaine's Nut & Seed Crackers
- 2 cups of nuts and seeds of your choice
- 1 egg
- desired flavoring: about two tablespoons of any spice or herb mix
- salt and pepper as desired (1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt)
- about a 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
- Sesame, poppy seeds or other fine seed for topping, if desired
Please see Elaine’s post, here, for photos of this process.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Grind nuts/seeds in a food processor or blender until they are not quite a paste yet but are still tiny, discernible “nubbins.” I found pulsing in my food processor for about 8 seconds at a time worked well. Stop between pulses and push the mixture around with a spatula. The pieces should be like tiny pebbles and just beginning to cling together into a mass.
Add egg and a tablespoon of water, along with desired seasoning, stir and pulse a few times. If mixture hasn’t come together in a homogenous mass, add the additional 1/2 tablespoon of water. (If you are using nuts that already have salt, you may not wish any salt in your seasoning mixture.)
Place mixture on top of a sheet of parchment paper, top with another sheet and roll the mixture out to a uniform thickness. You might need to lift the top piece now and then. Shoot for anywhere from a quarter to 3/8ths of an inch thick. The thinner the cracker, the crisper it will be. Top with desired seeds, if using.
Remove the top piece of parchment, slide the bottom piece with the crackers on top to a cookie sheet. For best results, do not use an Air-Bake cookie sheet. Cut into desired sizes. Place in oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove from oven, let set up for a few minutes, then place a cooking rack over the crackers and invert, then peel off the parchment. Separate crackers. Turn off the oven, put the crackers, now on the cooking rack, back into the oven. Prop the oven door open about an inch or two and leave the crackers inside to cool.
Yield is dependant upon how they are rolled and cut; I made about 20, cut as above, rolled about 3/8ths inch thick.
from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.