Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Flax Seed & Cracked Black Pepper Crackers for the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight

This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook Off, hosted by Heather at Girlichef and sponsored by Hyperion, who provided participants with a complimentary copy of the book. 

This week, Heather at Girlichef chose one sweet and ond one savory dish for those of us participating in the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook Off: chocolate fudge brownies with chocolate buttercream frosting, which I posted here, and these flaxseed and cracked pepper crackers. And while sweets are something I don't normally bake, I am back on terra firma with these crackers.

The method is easy peasy - if you've ever made a flatbread or a tart crust you'll have no problem with it. As long as you roll them out thin enough (less than 1/8 inch) they'll crisp up nicely. You may find that you need more (or less) buttermilk than the recipe calls for. I needed a  whole quarter cup more, but that makes sense given that I was making these on a cold, dry winter's day, while Joy was likely baking in sunny Southern California.  There was just one glitch: The book left the cracked pepper out of the recipe. Heather contacted Joy and she said to use 1/2 teaspoon, so I've included that below.

The original calls for you to make round or square shapes with your crackers, but I did heart shaped ones for Valentine's Day. Because nothing says romance like a cracker, right?

Flaxseed and Cracked Pepper Crackers

makes about 4 dozen crackers 
1/4 cup golden flaxseed
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk 

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flaxseed, flaxseed meal, flours, baking soda, and salt.  Add the butter, and using your fingers, quickly work the butter into the dry ingredients.  Some of the butter will resemble oatmeal flakes; others will be the size of small pebbles.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.  Add the buttermilk, and use a fork to bring all of the ingredients together.  Make sure that every bit of flour is moistened by the buttermilk.  The dough will be shaggy. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, with  a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out half of the dough.  Roll just thinner than 1/8 inch thick.  Use a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out crackers, or  use a pizza cutter to trim the edges and cut the dough into 11/2 inch squares.  Prick each cracker with the tines of a fork and place on a baking sheet.  Bake crackers for 15 to 18 minutes, until slightly browned around the edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before placing in an airtight container to store. Will last, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 4 days.

I really like these - nutty and hearty thanks to the whole grain and flax. I've made them twice, in fact, to enjoy with both a tomato soup and a lentil soup. A nice way to get your carb fix without indulging in a big loaf of bread! 

This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef
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  1. Gorgeous, Trix! Even though I didn't post mine today, I threw in a couple of hearts for good measure, too ;) Yours look amazing =)

  2. ok, these are ingenious---the little heart shapes are fantastic. We eat cheese and crackers at least once a week here, so I have to make these. I imagine there are so many variations, too. I was just going to do the brownies for this week, but you've inspired me to go for these, too, great post!

  3. Love it! <3

    Your crackers turned out great!

  4. Always wanted to try and make crackers! Hope you and your loving Valentine have a super day together!

  5. Whew, she's back :-)
    Now all I need is a couple of hunks of cheese.

  6. I made my first batch of crackers this past weekend and now I'm amped to keep trying new variations. These look GREAT!

  7. I love how...these are so crackery and hearty. Miraculous even.

  8. These look so delicious! And they are so adorable. I want to eat them smothered in brie. Just sayin'.

  9. Love the heart touch, perfect for Valentine's day :)
    Take care..

  10. Lovely crackers, adorable with heart shape. Happy Valentine's Day!

  11. Love the way you shaped them.....they looks crunchy and yummy....

  12. Healthy for me too!!! cute little crackers, trix. I forgot how much I like crackers till I made them myself... what a difference.

  13. I am always so impressed when I see cracker recipes, not sure why. These are great, love the heart shape and the flavoring.

  14. Homemade crackers are a fun project! Your recipe here with the flaxseed is really something I must try-especially since I have never tried flaxseed in anything. They do look tasty and would make for a good alternative to chips. I really like the heart shape too!

  15. These are so beautiful! I love the idea of heart shaped crackers for Valentine's Day.

  16. I love the heart shape and they're so perfectly thin!

    So glad to be sharing the cookbook challenge and spotlight experience with you. Looking forward to see what you pick for week 3!

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  17. Gosh, your crackers look awesome! So thin and crunchy. Love it!
    Hope you're having a great weekend.

  18. Perfect execution on your crackers. Your attention to detail is fantastic.

    Your work just gets better and better.

  19. Of course you were going to make them heart-shaped:)
    I made some cheddar cheese crackers a few years ago and loved them, so I know these would be the perfect snack for me (I tend to go for savory, rather than sweet:)
    I'm enjoying this little adventure. It's interesting to read everyone's thoughts on the same recipe.

  20. Yay, someone else who made the crackers. I see your end result is much thinner than mine. I may have just thought I had them rolled out thin enough. I agree with that fabulous nutty flavor. Great to find your blog and be a part of the group. Look forward to the next project.

  21. those are perfect little crackers! I need to make them today (I made the brownies) but I'm afraid I won't be able to get them all the same thickness (I'm a mess like that).

  22. Your crackers are so perfect--I love the little heart shapes. I didn't get around to making them but your post makes we want to go back and do it. ;-)

  23. I was a little too scared to make the crackers (I've tried it before and the results were less than pleasing). Yours, however, look absolutely perfect and adorable! Love the heart shapes.

  24. The romantic in me loves that you used a heart cookie cutter :) Crackers are actually one of my favorite things to bake because they are easy and savory. I'll have to try these out soon.