Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Gifts: Whole Wheat Christmas Crackers

Christmas cookies are a traditional holiday party gift.  They're great!  Who doesn't want beautifully decorated cookies handmade by a friend?

But what about handmade crackers?  They're kind've even a better holiday party gift.  Most holiday parties involve cheese, bean dips, salsas, avocados... in other words perfect foods for cracker dipping.  Give your party host handmade crackers and they can bust them open right then and there adding a fun touch to the appetizers!

Not only that, crackers are easy to make, but people seem to think they're hard so they'll be really impressed with you!  What a win-win-win situation?

Making crackers is basically like making pastry.  I found a great recipe on Smitten Kitten so use that as your basic cracker recipe.

To make your crackers perfect, keep pastry-making techniques in mind:
  • Cold butter, cold water, cold everything.
  • Don't overwork your dough as this makes pastry tough.
  • Grate your cold butter to make the pieces uniform and to reduce the need to handle it.
How to spice up your crackers?  The variations on this basic recipe are endless.  A few thoughts:
  • Smoked paprika and garlic
  • Honey and dijon mustard - the honey might make the crackers burn more easily so either brush a honey mustard glaze on at the end or watch the crackers closely.
  • Coriander seed and lemon zest - make sure you toast and grind the coriander seeds.
  • Cumin and garlic
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cracked black pepper and lime zest
  • Finely chopped cilantro
  • Get creative and let me know if you try any fun and interesting flavours!
For packaging?  Stay green!
  • Old-fashioned cookie tins are a great way to package crackers.
  • Many kitchen shops sell decorative cardboard boxes, but a fun craft for kids is to make pretty cardboard boxes that they can decorate.  You can then fill the boxes with crackers (wrapped in parchment or tin foil).
  • Reusable cloth sandwich bags.
The Verdict: Crunchy, salty, buttery deliciousness.  


Shonagh explores the guts of food in An Offal Experiment.

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