Monday, January 30, 2012

Fruit and Nut Crisps

I made these crisps over the weekend and was planning on bringing them with me to a "wine and cheese" social but they took longer to make than I anticipated so I made cinnamon rolls instead and saved these for home. My mom was quite ecstatic actually when she found out that we would be keeping the crisps for ourselves. She looked at me in disbelief as she said "We get to keep them, all of them?...You're not taking them anywhere?" She was skeptical because lately I have been on a baking streak but all of the baked goods were made for various functions I was attending, and therefore not for my family to eat.

Despite not bringing the crisps to the social everyone greatly appreciated the cinnamon rolls and they turned out to be the only dessert item at the event. The next day I finished baking the crisps and I am so pleased with how they turned out. These crisps are exactly like the fancy crackers that people splurge on at $7-$8 a box containing about only twenty total. In fact when my friend came over and tried one she commented that they tasted even better than the store-bought variety.

The great thing about making these yourself is that you are in complete control of the flavors and ingredients. The base recipe can be added upon using any combination of fruits, nuts, and seeds. As pictured above, I made two different varieties: dried cherry, cranberry, pistachio (left) and almond, raisin, rosemary, pumpkin seed (right). Both sets turned out very crunchy (and obviously crispy) but the rosemary one was more popular. Even so, the crisps were eaten quite fast as my brother noted that they were kind of was hard to stop after just one.

Fruit and Nut Crisps
Makes about five dozen.

Base Recipe
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
Suggested Add-Ins
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, pecans....
  • 1/2 cup raisins, dried cherries, cranberries, apricots, figs, dates....
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, mint, basil....
Pick any combination to add focusing on at least one nut and fruit addition (though more is also good)
  1. In a large bowl combine all of the base ingredients until a batter forms. 
  2. If making two different varieties, split the batter in half and mix the desired add-ins into each half.
  3. Pour out the batters into two 8" x 4" greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes, or at until the loaves are golden and springy to the touch.
  4. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool on a wire rack. Once significantly cool, wrap each loaf in plastic wrap and stick into the freezer.
  5. After several hours or even the next day, remove the loaves from the freezer and slice as thinly as possible. Place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased baking tray and bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Flip each slice over and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until crisp and deeply golden.
Note: The loaves are much, much easier to slice if they are cold therefore I suggest preparing the loaves well in advance and keeping them in the freezer until ready to bake the second time. If tightly wrapped, the loaves can stay in the freezer for up to two months. Simply partially thaw them on the counter before beginning to slice and bake.

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