So far I have graced…
The 12 Pubs of Christmas. A sloppy event with your closest friends who, like you, have few actual responsibilities to face on a Saturday morning. Bring gifts for a poorly planned Secret Santa (50% of people will forget said presents at one of the pubs so don’t spend much). Dress code: ugly Christmas sweater. iPhone photos: Abundant.
The Corporate Christmas Party, that strange and wonderful beast that you don’t have to bring a gift to. Free booze flows like water, but you still have to dress up and somewhat behave yourself. Fancy snacks circulate the party- eat too many. Skip the iPhone photos, what happens at the staff Christmas party, stays there.
The Family Friends Christmas Party. Another strange beast, mostly frequented by overgrown children like myself who still tag along with their parents to their friends’ parties. Bring hostess gifts, and bring good ones. Take one sip of boozy over-sweetened egg nog and then immediately remember why you don’t usually drink egg nog. Teatotal the rest of the night and focus your efforts instead on the rather impressive cheese plate that no one else is noticing. Smile pleasantly and answer vaguely when people ask you what your plans are for the future.
And then finally, we have one of my favourites, although I haven’t enjoyed this one yet this year:
The Wolf Pack Christmas. Get a handful of your absolute best friends together. Everyone brings good snacks and good drinks. Gifts unnecessary, although often given. Eclectic dance parties: likely. Laughing so hard you cry: always. Dress code: loungewear. iPhone photos: constant. Brunch the next morning: necessary.
So, what does all this have to do with today’s cracker recipe? Well. If you’ve ever tried Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps, you’ll know they are the stuff of legend and the perfect hostess gift that pairs perfectly with pretty much any type of Christmas party this season throws at you.
At anywhere between $6-$10 a box, however, that wine and cracker hostess gift can start setting you back pretty fast… Unless you make the crackers yourself. Which is both affordable and incredibly easy. (and customizable!)
Dinner with Julie was the first blogger to crack the Raincoast Crisp code, and it was later adapted by the Kitchn as well. To each their own, I made my own version as well, adapting the recipe as needed.
The perfect addition to any cheese plate over the holidays and best of all, these crispy crackers are even pretty healthy! (that means you can eat more cheese and cookies, right??)
|Cherry Hazelnut Crackers with Black Pepper & Thyme|| |
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- ⅓ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 cup dried sour cherries
- 1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup ground flax
- 2 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp freshly ground black better
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray or butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, thyme, pepper, baking soda and salt. Add brown sugar and mix well to ensure there are no large clumps.
- Pour buttermilk into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients have been mixed in. Mix in the dried cherries, hazelnuts, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, ground flax and dried thyme.
- Pour the batter into the greased loaf pans, filling each pan only half full. Place filled loaf pans on to a large baking sheet and bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the loaves from the pans and let them cool on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, wrap each loaf in plastic and then aluminium foil and transfer them to the freezer. Loaves can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months and taken out whenever you would like a new batch of crackers.
- When you are ready to whip up a batch of crackers... preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Remove one of the loaves from the freezer and, using a sharp serrated knife, slice the loaf into thin slices. Keeping the loaf frozen will help you to slice the loaf nice and thin.
- Lay the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the crackers from the oven, flip them over, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Let the finished crackers cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. I love these served with cheese platters!