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Monday, March 23, 2009

CRISP NUTTY CRACKERS (GF)



CRISP NUTTY CRACKERS
These strong, gluten-free crackers are suitable for butter and cheese, a medium for appetizers or useful for dips or spreads. Try it with Bacon Cheese Spread (super recipe), which I’ll post here shortly. These recipes are a spin-off of the beloved Almond Thins.

Coconutty Crackers
(Neutral, nutty flavor and a light golden color – very robust and crunchy, and much nicer than commerical varieties, I think. I personally don’t notice a coconut flavor, but rather more of a nutty flavor.)
1 3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup finely grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
1 tbsp oat flour (optional)
1/2 tsp No Salt, or salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
3 egg whites (from large eggs), fork-beaten

Preheat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, grated cheese, oat flour, No Salt (or salt) and white pepper. Stir to combine. Stir in fork-beaten egg whites really well until evenly distributed. Line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle cracker dough over entire cookie sheet. Using a small piece of plastic wrap placed over a portion of the dough, roll out evenly with a small rolling pin designed for rolling dough in pie pans or on pizza pans (or use a small heavy, cylindrical object such as an unopened food can); repeat. It will be clear where the dough is thicker and where it is thinner. If necessary, rob dough from the thicker portions and place on thinner portions, until the dough is more or less evenly distributed and nice and smooth. Score through to foil with dinner knife into 9 x 6 divisions.

Bake in center of oven 20 minutes. Remove very golden crackers from the outer edges by cutting along the cut lines. There might only be a few. Place inside crackers around the edges of the cookie sheet. Bake a further 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow crackers to cool completely. As soon as they are cool, store in a cookie tin with lid, such as those Danish cookie tins of old. Our crackers remain crisp even in our humid climate. If they do become soft (from leaving uncovered for hours in a humid climate, for instance), bake again in 325°F oven 5 to 10 minutes.

Helpful Hints: I have a gas oven (Whirlpool) these days, so baking times could possibly vary with electrical ovens. Other hard cheeses besides Monterey Jack may be used.

Nutritional Analysis: 54 crackers, 1 cracker per serving
20.9 calories; 1.0 g protein; 1.7 g fat; 0.4 g carbs

Variation:
Wholewheaty Crackers:

(These have more flavor as the flax meal flavor comes through. They look like wholewheat crackers Flax meal is a sort of “whole wheat” for low-carbers.)
1 3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup flax meal (dark or golden)
1/4 cup grated cheese (any kind – Monterey Jack is good)
1 tbsp oat flour
1 Splenda packet (to take the edge off the flax taste)
1/2 tsp No Salt, or salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
3 egg whites (from large eggs), fork beaten

Follow directions as for the Coconutty Crackers.

Helpful Hints: These crackers are slightly thinner and a little less hard than the Coconutty ones. My eggs are large, but they sometimes almost look X-large to me, so keep that in mind. The dough for both batches of crackers should be nice and moist, but not super wet (if it is, add a little extra almond or oat flour). It needs to roll out with ease under the plastic wrap.

Nutritional Analysis: 54 crackers, 1 cracker per serving
22.0 calories; 1.0 g protein; 1.8 g fat; 0.4 g carbs