After the roads have finally be cleared of the 2ft+ of snow that the Northeastern part of the US just received, we are again in the midst of a Nor’easter. As I sit here, I see the snow piling up on my deck, inch by inch. And I just got word that my school is closed tomorrow. Ahhh…a day off. What shall I bake?
We’ve been fortunate enough (or unfortunate – depending how you look at it) to have our major snowstorms of the 2009-2010 winter on SATURDAYS. I won’t mention the fact that the first one that blew through in December destroyed my birthday plans at a Tapas and Vodka bar.
No, strike that.
The FIRST real snow prevented my Drexel U ladies from trekking to my house for a Girls’ Weekend, the SECOND snowstorm caused the cancellation of my much needed and highly anticipated tapas and vodka ON TAP with 30 of my closest friends and family members. This storm owes me an appearance during the week when my house is already clean, and I can just kick back and relax.
May we have Thursday off, too? Chances look good. How about a 2hr delay on Friday? Am I dreaming? Maybe, but it’s fun to dream! Plus, Old Man Winter owes me.
A day work-free means I get to spend some quality time in my beloved kitchen, and since I only have an iPhone to take pictures for now (my camera lens STILL won’t open… grrrr*), I can manage to squeak in some pics of food with some decent sunlight. I loathe the dark food photos. But what’s a girl gonna do when BOTH cameras decided to fart and die on her? Maybe my dead cameras and Old Man Winter should have a party somewhere else and give me my tapas party back.
During the snowstorm this weekend, I whipped up a batch of my sister’s Whole Wheat Crackers that very much remind me of our family favorite, Wheat Thins. These were a hint sweeter because of the added vanilla and sugar, but don’t worry they were savory enough to go along with the adored fruit and cheese platter that so many of us include when we entertain. And my sister is right, these bad boys go quickly. One batch is good for a small party of 6-8, but you might as well double it so you can enjoy some later.
Simply the best crackers I have ever had. Thanks for the recipe, Emmy. Loveyou.
I’m totally thinking about adding cocoa to these and turning it into a chocolate cereal. Okay, maybe that’s what I’ll do tomorrow since I’m snowed in.
Sweet Whole Wheat Crackers
Source: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness & King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) cold butter
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 tsp vanilla
Additional salt for topping (optional)
Combine the flour, sugar, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix it in thoroughly, using your fingers, a pastry blender, a mixer or a food processor. Combine the water and vanilla, and add to the flour mixture, mixing until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces; keep the other pieces covered while you work with one at a time. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin and roll the piece of dough into a large rectangle, which should be at least 12 inches square when trimmed. Keep your pin and the surface of your dough evenly floured. Flip the dough frequently to keep it from sticking, but too much flour will make it difficult to roll. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as you can get it without tearing, at least 1/16 inch thick. Trim the dough to even the edges and use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the piece into squares approximately 1 1/2 inches wide.
Transfer the squares to a prepared baking sheet; you can crowd them together, as they don’t expand while baking. Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt, if desired. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Save the scraps under plastic wrap and re-roll them all at once just one time.
Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, 5 to 7 minutes. If some of the thinner crackers brown too quickly, remove them and return the remaining crackers to the oven to finish baking. These crackers bake quickly, so watch them closely – even 30 seconds can turn them from golden brown to toast! Remove the crackers from the oven and cool on the pan or on a plate; they cool quickly. These crackers will stay crisp for several days, but are best stored in airtight containers.