Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finally, a snack cracker worth keeping!

Check them out in all their glory!  I'm feeling quite victorious over this whole thing.  I've been searching for a Ritz cracker type recipe for a year or more.  I posted my plea the other day on the kitchen forum of Diaperswappers and an awesome mama replied with this recipe.  To me it tastes more Club cracker like, but considering that I've tossed 3 batches of cracker dough away in the past two days, this is a true victory.

This is the recipe as she posted it.

Rich Crackers

Unlike soda crackers, with their crisp layers and air pockets, these crackers are solid and smooth. Butter, egg and cream enriches the dough, which is made just like pie crust. These crackers provide a sturdy, non-assertive base for any number of toppings and spreads.

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold butter
1 large egg
6 tablespoons (3/8 cup, 3 ounces) cream (half and half, light, whipping or heavy)
melted butter

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Cut in butter. In a separate bowl, use a fork to stir egg and cream together till smooth. Add to flour/butter mixture and stir till mixture forms a loose ball. Gather in your hands and squeeze together. Pat into an oval about 1-inch thick, wrap in waxed paper, and chill for 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a circle between 1/16 and 1/8-inch in thickness. Cut dough into rounds with a 3-inch or smaller cutter. Repeat with remaining dough scraps (unlike pie crust, this repeated rolling doesn't seem to toughen the final product). Transfer rounds to lightly greased or parchment --lined baking sheets, and prick each round several times with a fork.

Bake crackers in a preheated 425°F oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan from oven, turn crackers over, and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until crackers are lightly browned. Remove crackers from oven and brush with melted butter. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

My recommendation would be to roll them as thin as possible.  I found it difficult to get them to 1/16", but the  thinner ones are better than the ones that are closer to 1/8" thick.  The daycare kids loved them and were quite dismayed to find out that we weren't having them as part of lunch, so that's another "yes" vote for these crackers.

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