cranberry hazelnut crisps.

December 17th, 2013

It’s a white Christmas here in NYC! It is so pretty. I’m watching a man teach his little boy how to make snow angels in the park across the street as I sit perched in our apartment window. And look at this snowflake on my sister-in-law Kate’s ear muff from this weekend.

Snowflake-KMG

Pretty amazing, right?

Last Friday evening we had a handful of sweet friends come over for a casual wine and cheese catch-up. This time of year gets so hectic that it becomes all too easy to miss your nearest and dearest because of overlapping holiday commitments with work, other groups of friends, etc. We were so happy to see a few before the major NYC holiday departures.

My husband, Paul, loves wine. And cheese. I do, too. Probably about 50% of our working relationship relies on this shared affinity to wine and cheese. Just kidding. Probably 75%. Ha. Kidding again. But we really love wine and cheese. Paul’s favorite crackers are these gems that cost $8.99. I’m not kidding about this part. These things are so expensive! But, admittedly, they are also so, so delicious. After shelling out more than enough money on these suckers I decided to head into un-forged territory and try a hand at making my own. I love the bulk  These are not only perfect for just having around for those last minute cheese get togethers, or late night snacks, but would also make such a great hostess gift paired with a nice little block of cheese. YUM!

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds {raw or roasted – I used raw and they were pretty yummy}
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. chia seeds {optional}
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar, and honey. Mix until combined. Lastly mix in cranberries, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and rosemary. Mix until just combined – do not overmix! The ingredients will begin to settle when poured into the bread pans.

3. I wanted to make smaller, more manageable crackers so I used 4 5 1/2″ x 3″ x 2 1/4″ pans. If you want to make larger crackers you can easily use 2 8″ x 4″ pans. If using XX pans bake for approximately 30 minutes. If you’re using 8″ x 4″ pans cook for 35 minutes. Of course, all ovens are different so be sure to keep your eyes on them! You’ll want them golden and springy to the touch. Use the toothpick method to ensure they have cooked through all the way.

4. Once removed from the oven place on a rack to cool. Once cooled remove the bread from the pans and place in the refrigerator to continue to cool.

Raincoast-Crisps-Un-Cooked

This will help the bread and you retain sanity when you slice to make the crackers. If you need to make these quickly stick them in the refrigerator until chilled.

5. Reduce the oven heat to 300. Slice the bread as thinly as possible with a serrated knife. Easy on the sawing motion. But use the sawing motion. It looks weird, but it works. Place the sliced bread in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, flip the crackers over, and bake for another 10 minutes. They will look nice and golden. Note: If they are still a little bit soft don’t worry about it! They’ll get crispier as they cool.

Raincoast-Crisp-Imitations-with-Text

This recipe makes about 8 dozen crackers give or take. Mine was a little bit of the take because I mis-judged the first batch and nearly set the kitchen on fire. It also depends on how thinly you slice the crackers. Either way just know that it makes a lot. And you’ll still want to make more!

xx

LT

XX Leigh-Taylor