I am officially a nerd. Of course, anyone who spends more than 5 minutes with me can tell you that. I am on a quest to make my own Ritz crackers. It isn't really that big a deal. I mean I have made several kinds of crackers that were all pretty good, so if occasionally I want to buy a box of Ritz, I'm sure it won't kill me. However, this has become one of those "gotta do it" sort of things. Last night I spent about 2 hours pouring over the internet finding thousands of recipes for using Ritz crackers and very few for making them. At about 10 pm, I came across one that looked particularly interesting. It was a batter that you poured in the pan and smeared around until it was level and then baked it until crisp. SHUT UP! (said in my best Stacey London voice) Crackers are supposed to have stiff dough and you roll them out as thin as possible and then a little thinner still. I was intrigued. So at 10:15 I was in the kitchen whipping up some batter crackers. They came together very easily and although I think my dough was a little thick I spread them out and stuck them in the oven. After 8 minutes I pulled the pans out and cut the cracker glob into squares and stuck it back in for 20 minutes. I didn't check them at 15 minutes like I was supposed to because I didn't think they would be very good. Oops-I should've watched them closer. I found that 20 minutes was a bit too long, as my edges were really brown, but they were crispy and tasty. Surprise, surprise! I made mine plain, but the actual recipe had several spices and I think they would be even better this way. No, these crackers aren't like a Ritz, but they are sturdy (good for dipping), have a good flavor and go well with cheese. I think I might not need a Ritz cracker in my collection.
Just a side note, I didn't originally save the blog that I got the recipe from. All I could remember is that the post I read talked about the lady baking crackers all night long and playing parcheesi with her husband. Like any good detective, I googled "baking crackers parcheesi" and found the link to the blog immediately! LOL!
From what I've read so far, the blog, Choosing Voluntary Simplicity, has great stories and an awesome cracker recipe.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 heaping tablespoon dried basil
1 scant tablespoon dried oregano
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic or garlic powder to taste
additional butter for brushing the tops of the crackers in the pan
Put first 6 ingredients in a food processor. Pulse several times to break up the oats into more of a flour consistency. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
I added 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water. I used less milk because I wasn't adding all of the herbs, so I didn't need as much liquid. In hindsight, I should've added a bit more milk as my batter was probably thicker than it should've been. If using the herbs, use the full cup of milk.
I lined 2 jelly roll pans with parchment paper and divided the batter between them. Then I spread the batter around and shook the pan trying to even it out. Because my batter was a bit thicker, it did not completely even out. I put the pans in a 350* oven for 8 minutes and then pulled them out and used a pizza cutter to cut them into squares. I brushed the top with butter and returned the pans to the oven for 15-20 minutes. I waited 20 and should've checked at 15. Oh well, there's always next time, right?
Update on Ceasar dressing-finally perfected that-I'll leave you in suspense until tomorrow! Ha! I'm sure you'll lose sleep over it!