From May 20011 to December 2011, I was conducting my PhD dissertation research in Wyoming. In mid-August, I had a two week break from data collection. I flew back home to St. Louis, MO, and my boyfriend and I decided to road trip back to Wyoming to camp and sight see along the way. The few days I had home before our road trip, I decided that we were not going to buy any snack food. I was going to make all of our road munchies! I made cookies (such as these amazing chocolate chip cookies), brownies, four different kinds of crackers and veggie chips which were an epic failure. The hands down best cracker were the goldfish crackers, original recipe from Smitten Kitchen. These crackers are wonderfully savory and really do hit you with some awesome cheesy flavor. They did not last long; I should have made a quadruple batch because my boyfriend asked more than a dozen times if there were any more goldfish left.
I have altered the recipe from the original a bit. First, I made the crackers completely with whole wheat flour. Second, I just about doubled the amount of cheese. Third and this is important, go with super sharp, aged cheddar. Smitten Kitchen used sharp orange cheddar, but I find the orange ones are never quite strong enough. Definitely spend the money and take the time to find a good aged cheddar and it will be white. Fourth, I added more onion powder. Last, I do not own the perfect little goldfish cookie cutter, so I used whatever miniature cutters I owned.
These would be great for a party, or for lunches or for the necessary snacking during a long road trip. Actually, I made these for Super Bowl Sunday and people referred to them as crack because they were so addictive.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
10 oz finely grated sharp aged cheddar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until a dough ball forms. I find that the food processor only goes so far and that you will have to do a little mixing with your hands to get the dough in a nice ball.
3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Take the time to get it this thin, thick crackers do not turn out well. You will likely have to flour the top of the dough ball to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough. If the dough is too sticky, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then proceed to roll it out.
4. Once rolled out, cut out your desired shapes, place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Take a small knife or a pin and poke 3-5 holes in each cracker, it keeps them from puffing up too much and bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are just browning. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining dough.
5. Once out of the oven, let the crackers rest on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.