So this month at the Daring Bakers, we were challenged to make crackers. I had never made crackers before (only soft cheese cookies), but they turned out to be really fun.
The challenge included making two different types of crackers, so I made icebox and roll out crackers.
For starters, I made Ritz crackers. I love Rex crackers, the equivalent of Ritz over here, so I thought it would be cool to make my own. And since I don’t have a small scalloped cutter, it was only natural to make fishies (this cutter was actually rescued from a play dough set and this was its first time in the kitchen).
Oh, and since we’re talking about Ritz, I must bring this up: the infamous mock apple pie. I haven’t made it yet, but I hope to correct that soon.
Anyway, I used a recipe from Cupcake Project. It’s pretty straightforward but there’s something you need to have in mind: crackers are supposed to be crispy. I know we’re used to keeping a close eye on chocolate chip and sugar cookies, but these have to be nicely browned to bring out their true awesomeness. I would know because half of mine were too soft.
Other than that, don’t be scant on the salt, and you’re good to go.
Aside from the fishies, I also made these cheddar icebox crackers. I had never made icebox cookies before, but they turned out to be so easy, and pretty tasty as well. The ones Dana posted had rosemary on them, but I made mine with aji molido, a kind of red ground pepper that’s very popular here. It’s not overly hot so the crackers only had a nice spicy aftertaste.
Oh, and I know what you’re thinking! Agos, how did you get those neat pictures?? Did you paint your walls? Did you move out of the mess you live in? Or was it early spring cleaning?
Well, no. I just built a lightbox.
|Build a lightbox and you won’t have to keep pushing the mess out of the picture!|
I saw this tutorial on deviantArt and I knew I had to give it a go. I even had all the ingredients materials on hand! It was really easy and only took 20 minutes. So you should go make it, like nao. Maybe tomorrow if you don’t have the materials at home. I understand not everyone keeps long sheets of tracing paper at home. I only had it because I used it to trace molds for a plushie I’m making… yeah, I’m on a crafting roll. I did have a selection of colored paper, with I had tried to use as backdrops without much success.
I still need a lot of practice, plus I need to get better lighting. But I’m having fun with this box. Yeah, I feel like Garfield.
Blog-checking lines: Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.
Recipe by Cupcake Project
Yield: about 6 dozen medium-small crackers
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
2/3 tsp + another 1/2 tsp salt for topping
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, and 2/3 tsp of salt in the food processor. Pulse to combine.
3. Add cold butter a few small pats at a time, and pulse to combine.
4. Add vegetable oil. Pulse to combine.
5. Add water a little bit at a time. Pulse to combine after each addition. The dough should start to form a ball.
6. Roll dough out as thin as you can.
7. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough out.
8. Poke holes in the dough. If making fish crackers, you can use a straw to give them eyes and scales (and a mouth if not included in the cutter).
9. Bake the crackers on a parchment for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.
10. While the crackers are baking, melt the remaining butter and mix in the remaining salt.
11. As soon as you remove the crackers from the oven, brush them with the salty butter and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Cheddar icebox crackers
Recipe adapted from The American Culinary Institute, as seen on Daring Bakers
Yield: about 20 medium-small crackers
2 oz butter, softened
4 oz grated cheddar cheese
3 oz all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tbsp mild ground red pepper
1. Combine butter, pepper and cheese and beat well.
2. Add the sifted flour and salt, and stir to combine.
3. Form the dough into a tight log and wrap with cling film.
4. Chill for at least an hour and up to several days.
5. Heat the oven to 325°F.
6. Slice log into 1/5 inch coins and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with poppyseed if desired.
7. Bake about 12 minutes until golden brown.
8. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.