Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Classic Snacks Made From Scratch:Goldfish Crackers

This is yet another cheesy snack that is such a well known favorite in our childhood; that this recipe has to either be spot on or go beyond the original flavor.So did this recipe even contend with the original? Well lets find out by breaking down the recipe and see if its worth our time to make our very own homemade goldfish crackers.Also, remember if you have friends,family,and even the children around be sure to get them involved in the baking process and test out the final results.

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So to begin, I found the directions to this recipe to be easy to understand along with an ingredient list that was simple to find.I was also very pleased that this recipe gave simple suggestions to the reader's on using different shapes and where to find the perfect goldfish cutter.Now with these suggestions,I did find out that if you choose to use different shapes you will end up with no baking time and that means watching these crackers constantly.So if you are comfortable enough without a baking time then try some really creative shapes and if not go with the traditional goldfish cracker. I love that we have a choices in this recipe and even given the ability to adapt while still following the basic idea of the recipe.

This recipe to be honest maybe easy to follow;however time and patience is a key in creating these crackers.So what do I mean by this? Well it takes time to roll,cut and bake all these itty bitty crackers.So after a while it may come off as a little frustrating and tedious work.So you have to keep a positive attitude and just think you want to find out if these come close to the original pepperridge farm goldfish cracker.I knew I had to find out? So after the process was complete it was finally time for the taste test.

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So the moment of truth, the flavor and texture test! Did it meet myself and others expectation? Well I was actually really surprised that these homemade crackers went beyond the original goldfish cracker.They had a stronger and sharper cheddar flavor while still keeping the crunchy and flaky texture of the original.They are a highly addicting crunchy snack and I find that there is never enough when a cheesy snack is this good.These homemade goldfish crackers deliver in flavor,texture and signature look.They hit the spot for everyone's cheesy snack and I know for sure they will be paired well some delicious dips and spreads to serve the guests.

They definitely get a two thumbs up from me! I sure had a lot of fun reviewing the cheesy snack chapter and now were on to review the next chapter! Enjoy the recipe and try it with your kids!

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The Recipe

Goldfish Crackers

1 cup (4 ounces) Sharp Cheddar Cheese,Finely shredded
1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces) cake flour
1 tbsp cheddar cheese powder ( Can be found in bulk or by Kraft)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup whole or reduced-fat milk
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Making the Dough

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Grated old age cheddar cheese finely.

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Then I stirred the shredded cheese,flours,cheddar powder,salt,baking powder and onion powder in a large bowl until the cheese was evenly distributed and coated. (Old age or Sharp Cheddar is the best)

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Then I added the 2% milk and vegetable oil to the dry mixture and then folded the mixture with a spatula,then I kneaded the dough until a cohesive dough formed.It was crumbly at first;however once I continued to press and knead the dough all the dry bits were incorporated. ( My Tip:Kneading is very important for this dough)

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 Then I transferred the dough on my work surface,covered it with an upside-down bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.(My Tip: The resting helps the dough become easier to roll and more pliable)

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Making The Crackers

I placed my silpat mat on my half sheet and preheated the own to 375F (Recipe also suggests parchment paper lined on 2 baking sheet)

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I divided the dough into 2 pieces.Then I refrigerated one piece while I rolled out the second piece as thin as possible, but no more then 1/8 inch thick. ( Recipe suggestion: The thinner the dough the crisper the cracker and thicker means puffier and more bread like cracker)

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Then I stamped cracker shapes using cookie cutters. The fish is the traditional shape;however the recipe suggest you can use different shapes.So I cut out hearts,stars,triangles,circles,diamonds and cut out my own fishy shapes. Then I transfers the shapes on my prepared baking sheet.Then continue cutting shapes until all the dough was done.

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Then I baked the crackers loosely based on the recipe time suggestion.The recipes states it will be approximately 15 minutes for fish shaped crackers and will be crispy and just turning golden brown.However the timing will vary for different sizes and shapes.So I had to really watch my crackers and after the first batch I realized I needed to bake the larger crackers together and the smaller ones together in the next batch.

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Then I placed the crackers on a wire rack and let them cool completely.These crackers were best within a day or two and were kept in an airtight container. These are great served alone or with an condiment such as peanut butter,salsa,cream cheese etc

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