Friday, September 19, 2014

Homemade Cheesy Goldfish Crackers

Those of you who have followed me for more than 5 minutes know that I have several kiddos in the house.  So suffice it to say that we have bought our fair share of goldfish snack crackers over the years.  A few weekends ago, Lily and I got the idea that it might be fun to make some goldfish from scratch.  Now if you ask Lily, she would say "from scrap." (LOL!!!)  Now no matter what age you are, cheesy crackers are pretty darned hard to resist! 

Do you have to make them into fish shapes?  Ummm.  No.  HaHa.  Make them into circles or squares or however you fancy them.  Sprinkle them with herbs at will and have with a nice glass of wine if the mood strikes you.  But for the shorter population running around, the fish were lots of fun.  These would be great for a classroom project, those snack helper days that come around so quickly, your Sunday School lessons about being "fishers of men," etc. :)

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Ingredients:
  • 8 oz (by weight) Extra sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • Garnishes
    • chili powder - optional
    • dried oregano - optional
    • black pepper and rosemary - optional

Written Method:
So.... it became apparent that I was going to need a template for these fish, right?   I saw on the internet where some genius girl used a soda can to make a dough cutter.  Well let me not be one to re-invent the wheel!  Let's do this!  I used my kitchen shears to cut right into the thin aluminum, cut and trim a strip, then tape it together with packing tape.  Of course I had to have a few fish crackers out to use as a visual guide.  HaHa.  My 6 year old son insisted that our goldfish be larger than the originals, so if you are wondering about that, there is your answer.


Prep.  Get it all ready.  All five ingredients.  Because that's all there is to it!
Pretty cool that I even have my own cheese grater.  Isn't she a cutie?  While Lily is grating the extra sharp cheddar, I can get out all the other ingredients that we will need.  This dough comes together in a snap!
Pulse everything (except for the water) together in a food processor until it resembles coarse sand.
pulse...
Here's the "coarse sand" look.
 Pulse in the water, 1 Tbsp at a time.  Here is Tablepoon #1.......
pulse.....
Second Tablespoon of water......
pulse.... and .... now suddenly we have a blob of dough!
Remove the dough from the processor, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out the dough out (maybe to about 1/8"?).  For reference a penny is 1/16."  Use as little flour as possible.  The more flour you use, the softer (and less crispy) the crackers will be. Cut the dough into shapes with cookie cutters (or things you have around the house).  
If you are letting your Short Chefs help you, by all means let them cut their own.  I'm sure you have some common things around the house they can use.  Lily is cutting round crackers with a small medicine dosing cup that comes with cough medicine.  She also made her fair share of fish!  :)

I used a wooden skewer for the fish eye and a toothpick to make the smile.
To bake, place the fish on parchment paper or Silpat (silicone baking mat). 
 We sprinkled some with chili powder, some with dried oregano, and left some naked!  Just have fun! 
Makes a BUNCH!  But I can't tell you how many, because people were eating them as they were cooling.  Also, it depends on the size of the cutters you are using, obviously.

Some sources recommend that you put the rolled/cut out crackers back into the refrigerator so that the butter can firm up again before baking to achieve a crisper cracker.  We did not try that, but I am passing it along to you in case you would like to do so.  Ummmm.... I don't think a thing more could fit into our fridge at this point, especially not these sheet pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 - 20 minutes or until crispy.  The baking time may depend on the type and color of your baking sheet, and how thinly you rolled them.  Allow them to cool on a wire rack, not on a sheet pan, where there could be condensation.   We did find that they were most crisp when they were freshly out of the oven, and softer the next day, so take that into consideration.
When we were originally making the crackers, my daughter was super upset that I wanted to add seasoning or herbs to some of the crackers.  She wanted them all to be plain.  I'm sure you noticed, however that she was quite "into" the sprinkling-of-the-herbs part of the recipe, despite her objections.  When they were cooked, she turned up her nose at the "naked" ones and said they didn't look as good as the "decorated" ones.  OH MY GOODNESS!!!!  The moral of this story, is that sometimes, you are just NOT going to win an argument with a 5 year old cook!

I hope you enjoyed this simple and delicious recipe!
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Oatmeal Banana Smoothies

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Written Method:
I used my kitchen shears to cut through the thin aluminum of a soda can, cut and trim a strip, then tape it together with packing tape to make my dough cutter.

Prep.  Get it all ready.  All five ingredients.  Because that's all there is to it!  Pulse everything (except for the water) together in a food processor until it resembles coarse sand.  Pulse in the water, 1 Tbsp at a time.  Remove the dough from the processor, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out the dough out (maybe to about 1/8"?).  Use as little flour as possible.  The more flour you use, the softer (and less crispy) the crackers will be. Cut the dough into shapes with cookie cutters (or things you have around the house).  I used a wooden skewer for the fish eye and a toothpick to make the smile.  To bake, place the fish on parchment paper or Silpat (silicone baking mat).   We sprinkled some with chili powder, some with dried oregano, and left some naked!  Just have fun!  Makes a BUNCH!  But I can't tell you how many, because people were eating them as they were cooling.  Also, it depends on the size of the cutters you are using, obviously.   Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 - 20 minutes or until crispy.  The baking time may depend on the type and color of your baking sheet, and how thinly you rolled them.  Allow them to cool on a wire rack.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great recipe.. I used a Halloween Bat cookie cutter and made my boys Batman cheese crackers....they loved it!

    ReplyDelete

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