I have discovered that snacks disappear much faster when you make them yourself.
For example, the pan of granola bars I made only Saturday are mostly gone (recipe coming soon when perfected), although the Costco box of Nature Valley bars has been sitting in our pantry for at least a month and is still over half full.
Perhaps this is because we know what goes into our homemade snacks, and so we feel better about eating them. Or possibly because we don't have to open a bunch of packaging (and glance over the horrifying nutritional panel) to get to them. But honestly, I think it is actually because homemade snacks are so much more delicious than their store-bought counterparts.
And, of course, much more labor-intensive.
The recipe I adapted is from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book which, for some reason, was the last place I looked for a whole-grain cracker. Sometime last spring I made these cheese crackers for James from the online encyclopedia of all things delicious: Smitten Kitchen. Although I love all of Deb's recipes (I like to imagine that we are on a first name basis) and the crackers were fabulous tasting, they were also a bit greasy, heavy, and guilt-inducing, not what I wanted from a snack cracker. The King Arthur crackers, however, were light, thin, and crispy. The only reason I felt guilty from these crackers was because I ate half the batch. Not kidding.
Although there are countless adaptions to this recipe (added herbs, honey instead of sugar, garlic and parmesan, cinnamon and sugar...) I kept the recipe simple so that I could see how I liked the results, and go from there. There should be many more interesting adaptations to come.
Peppery Thin Wheats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracker peppercorn
3 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c water
canola oil cooking spray
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and cracker pepper. Cut in butter and drizzle mixture with oil. Use your hands (or a pastry cutter, but hands work better in my opinion) to thoroughly blend the fats into the flour mixture. Add the water, mix in with your hands.
Divide the dough into four balls. Keep the balls you are not using covered with plastic wrap (I don't know why, bit it is what the recipe says, I assume for moisture reasons). Roll each ball out to 12 inches square. (Now, this is the part that really confused me. It is impossible to roll 1/4 of the dough out to 12 inches by 12 inches. That is why it says: "12 inches square," meaning 6 inches by 6 inches. I am not a math major.) So, each side should be 6 inches. Cut off the excess dough (later roll all the excess out and cut into crackers). The crackers should each be about 1 1/2 inches wide. Bake the crackers on a lightly greased baking sheet for about 7 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch the crackers closely. You want them to be a golden-brown color and crispy all the way through, not light or dark brown. Let them cool on a plate, then immediately store them in a Tupperware so that you don't eat them all. Enjoy.