Mmmmmmmm….  the delicious smells of holiday baking.

Is there anything better?

I’ve been wanting to work on a healthy holiday cracker recipe for a while now,and I think I may just have come up with one.

It Isn’t Gluten free, though it can be dairy free if you use the coconut oil instead of butter or margarine.

If you  need a gluten free recipe, stay tuned, I’ll have one of those in here later, so check back.

 

Non-food items you will need include:

A one quart sauce pan

A three quart mixing bowl

Big wooden mixing spoon or a mixer with bread hooks.

Wax paper* ( to line a bread pan with And to line the baking sheet)

A bread pan

A baking sheet

 

Wet Ingredients to be combined in a saucepan on Low heat.

1/2 cup of butter, margarine or coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger**

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (a pinch)

1/2 teaspoon finely ground cinnamon***

1   1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup water

and

3/4  cup chopped pecans, or hazelnuts, or coconut flakes

Dry ingredients:

2  3/4  cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4  teaspoon salt

Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly in the three quart mixing bowl and make a well in the middle of the ingredients.

 

Combine the wet ingredients, minus the chopped nuts, into a small sauce pan on a low heat setting and slowly heat the ingredients together until the butter or the coconut oil is just melted and the sugar dissolves into the mixture.  (Don’t boil it)

Add the 1/3 cup chopped pecans, or hazelnuts at the very end and set aside to cool to luke-warm (if you put a drop of the liquid on the inside of your wrist it won’t be hot, just warm) might be anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on how hot you got the mix.

Make sure the liquid mixture is thoroughly mixed and dissolved when you take it up to pour into the well you made in the dry ingredients in the three quart bowl.

Mix rapidly and thoroughly until it’s a smooth cohesive lump. If you are using a wooden spoon, make sure that either the handle of the spoon is really thick or that you are holding the spoon handle down near the spoon head, as this mixture gets really heavy and thick.

Once you have achieved the desired consistency ( I knew when it was done when I wanted to eat the dough before cooking it) press the dough evenly into the wax paper lined bread pan and cover with the wax paper.  This can be a little tricky as the dough is sticky.  Refrigerate or freeze until stiff but not frozen.

Take out one of the oven racks.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and prepare to use the lower part of the oven.

The baking pan will not be  on the very bottom rack, but the one just up from that when it’s time to bake the crackers.

When the dough is stiff, take it out of the pan and place it on a clean cutting board.  Slice the frozen dough lengthwise with a serrated bread knife.    If you like your crackers larger, slice it in half, if you like them smaller, slice it twice in thirds. Lay the sliced dough halves down on the cutting board and thinly slice the dough into individual cracker pieces and place on the wax paper in the baking pan about 1/4 inch apart from each other. If you want to save time and slice larger crackers, you can easily halve your crackers by using a fork to poke holes across the middle of each larger cracker shape. You can make the cracker pieces any size you want. The thicker crackers are more chewy and the thinner ones are crispier.  For a sweeter sparkly cracker, sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar over the crackers before they go into the oven.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking rack or on the other oven rack that you took out and placed on the counter before you baked the crackers.  When the crackers are thoroughly cooled, lift them from the wax paper and place in a tin for crackers, or seal-able sandwich bags.

These are sturdy crackers and are a pure luxury for having a small nibble between meals or when you’re on the go and can’t stop for a whole meal and need something to tide you over.  It makes a pretty good dessert substitute for school lunches as well, as they aren’t as sugary as cupcakes or brownies but they are still a small sweet treat.  They aren’t bad for dunking either, as they don’t fall apart easily in your milk or coffee or tea.

Note*

*  If you don’t have wax paper, you can use oil or butter to grease the baking pan so the cracker dough will come off the pan easily.

**  If you are pregnant and nausea is a problem, the ginger in this recipe may help settle your stomach.  Ginger helps settle upset stomachs.

*** If you don’t have these three spices separately, you can use 3/4 teaspoon of pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice instead.  This will be adding a little of the spice ingredient Ground Cloves to your mixture.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, llc 2012.

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