One of the mini-dudes’ favorite snacks
is was these:
which I was able to bring home from the lunchroom at the school where I work and which are, of course, entirely off-limits now. And just like the alphabet soup, this particular item is not yet available in a gluten-free variety. Annie’s makes macaroni and cheese in a GF version, but all their GF snacks are sweet, not savory. I know some folks would scoff at my desire to find snacks like these for the boys (“Give them some celery”), but they are tiny (probably in part because of the celiac, part because they’re twins and part because That’s How They Are), they are toddlers, and they need to eat concentrated calories all day long.
A friend had posted about making homemade cheese crackers using this recipe, so I decided to try a double experiment. I made the recipe as written, substituting Namaste Perfect Flour Blend for the all-purpose and cutting letters into the unbaked crackers with a knife. I cut all the way through and they melted back together but left the lines visible.
And it kinda mostly worked! I overcooked the first batch and found that 10 minutes was more than long enough for the subsequent batches. Making the letters was a LOT of work, I won’t lie, but the dudes liked them. They looked for their initials and offered me every M in the bowl. Next time I think I might make domino crackers; surely stamping dots into patterns would be easier than carving the letters? After that I’ll buy a tiny goldfish cookie cutter….
Recipe after the cut.
Gluten-free cheese crackers
adapted from readymade.com
- 8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
- 4 Tbsp salted butter, softened (room temperature)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 C GF flour blend*
- 2 Tbsp ice water
1) Blend cheese, butter and salt completely. This is easiest in a stand mixer, but can be done by hand if you’re muscley. Mix in the flours; the dough will be lumpy/sandy and dry.
2) Drizzle in the cold water 1 Tbsp at a time, blending after each. By the time the second Tbsp is incorporated, you should be able to form a ball with the dough. Pat it into 2 discs, cover and refrigerate for an hour or longer.
3) Pre-heat the oven to 375. Dust flour on the counter. Working with half the dough at a time, roll it very thin, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 1-inch squares or other shapes as desired. If you want letters or other decoration, use a knife, skewer or chopstick to make a deep design–it’s best to cut all the way through. You could also use mini cookie cutters to make heart/flower/?? designs, if you have such a thing.
4) Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cut and roll the second batch while the first is baking. Place on cooling racks as soon as they come out of the oven.
5) Try not to eat them all in one sitting. If you do, that’s about 1700 calories, just so you know.
* Note: the most common GF flour blend in grocery stores seems to be Bob’s, which I don’t care for due to its strong garbanzo flavor. I got Namaste at my local co-op; it’s mostly sweet brown rice and tapioca. Once I clear out all the gluteny stuff taking up space around here I will mix my own blends.