Monday, January 11, 2010

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Crackers

A couple years ago I tried my hand at making crackers and my attempt wasn't incredibly successful.... So, I thought I'd give it another shot! In my The Fannie Farmer Baking Book (a classic baking book that I love!), there are several recipes for all sorts of homemade crackers...graham crackers, white crackers, oatmeal crackers, walnut crackers, mexican crackers (which have a spicy kick to them!), etc. Since I had all of the ingredients on hand (which was only five things) for the whole wheat peanut butter crackers, I thought I'd try them for fun!
Above is a picture of four of the five ingredients; the fifth is water!
The following is the recipe, taken directly from the Fannie Farmer book:
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
-1 tsp. salt
-1/2 cup warm water
-about 2 cups whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350. Use ungreased cookie sheets. Combine the baking soda, peanut butter, salt, and warm water in a bowl, and stir vigorously until well blended. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of the flour and mix well. Add more flour if the dough is too tacky to manage; it should be rather stiff and coarse.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a thickness of about 1/16 inch. Trim the dough to fit your cookie sheet and, using your hands and a spatula, transfer the dough to the cookie sheet. With a knife, score the dough into rectangels 2 inches by 1.5 inches, not cutting all the way through (You can really make them whatever size you want! Mine were probably about 1-inch square).
Bake for 7 minutes on one side, turn the cracker sheet over and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the crackers feel firm and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool on racks. Break the crackers into individual crackers and serve.
All in all, I was happy with how the crackers turned out. I made the first batch exactly as the recipe instructed. The cool thing about homemade crackers is that no two are alike! They don't really come out to be perfect squares, but who cares? After the first batch, for fun I tried making them more like you'd make sugar cookies. I used the rim of a small glass to cut the crackers into rounds and then baked them each separately instead of in one big sheet. Another point to mention is that it is reeeeally tough to roll out the dough to be 1/16 of an inch! That is very thin... Mine were probably more like 1/10 or 1/12 of an inch maybe? I'm not entirely sure. I didn't actually measure. :) But, as a result, I did have to bake my crackers longer, probably about 10 minutes or so on each side rather than the 7 minutes that the recipe says.
I've eaten a few crackers each day this week for a mid-morning or afternoon snack. They pair quite well with a nice cup of tea or coffee! I have eaten them plain each time too (well, with the exception of the first night I made them - will explain shortly), but I think they might be tasty with a bit of jam on them or maybe nutella? Mmmmm. Or, maybe even a bit of peanut butter spread on them would be yummy! The night that I made them, I had the fun idea of making a mini ice cream sandwich with a couple of the round's a picture of it. :)
Fun times with homemade peanut butter crackers! Oh, and the cookbook did not have any nutritional information listed, although my guess is these can't be too bad for you...the peanut butter and whole wheat flour are healthy ingredients so I'm going to go out on a limb and call these a healthy snack. :)

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