This week I had a Mom Day. My Hubby and I don’t’ have children yet but it is not uncommon for us to take a posse of two to four of family or friend’s kids for the day or weekend.
This Tuesday was a Mom Day for me. I took on my sister’s four munchkins (from 7 down to 15 months). Seeing they were to be at my house, I figured I could get some things done (you know like laundry and baking).
The day began with ambition. I took an early 7 mile walk and then started making some batter for banana bread bites and almond crackers. I figured I could bake them throughout the day as I had time or need. After a shower and a load of laundry later, the clock struck 9:15 am and the gang arrived.
The morning was off to a great start. Naturally it included all the normal events expected when taking care of the Littles…things such as Brother stealing gardening tools from oldest Sister and then lying about it, the 15 month old eating acorns and things suspiciously snail-like in their appearance, and the 3 year old taking a dive off the front porch with the tricycle…landing on her face.
Yep. Pretty normal for a mom-like world. These things are fun, but they always get more interesting when food is involved.
The appropriate time came to bake the banana bread bites and to roll out the almond cracker dough. The 4 year old helped me with the rolling and cutting of the crackers and it appeared that they would be out in time for lunch.
Fast forward 45 + minutes and Batch #1 had come out of the oven while Batch #2 was finishing. Lunch plates had been made up, the kids happily eating their picnic on lawn when the 3 year old declared the urgent need to “go potty!” So in we went and after completing the final step of the Potty Ritual (getting a jelly bean after a successful toilet run) my nose finally mentioned ever so demurely to my brain that there was an odor of burning in the air.
Horrified I realized my Batch #2 of crackers were happily blackening away to the tune of 30 – 40 minutes longer than it should have! Oh Dear! Such a waste! I sadly pulled them out, rejoicing that batch #1 at least had been successful and what was more, 3 out of the 4 kids loved them!)
My rejoicing was short-lived, however, because it was then that I turned to see that the 15 month old bent over the toilet, both hands splashing around!
Somehow she had snuck in the house and was delighting in a just-her-size pool! Daaa!Somehow she had snuck in the house and was delighting in a just-her-size pool! Daaa!
Yes, this was MOM Day! The first part that is. But it was all good (even the last half). I definitely felt like I “scored” in involving the kids in my cooking and that they liked the results (the banana bread bites were a hit too but that is a recipe for another time!)
So below is my Mom Day Almond Cracker recipe. It originally came from the King Arthur’s Flour blog. I love that it only takes three ingredients (if you make the minimum versions). It is gluten free too.
A couple of honorable mentions….rolling the dough out can be a bit tricky. The main thing is to roll it out on the parchment paper you will bake them on! Don’t try to transfer them after rolling them out and cutting them into squares. It doesn’t work! Just roll them out on the parchment (with a piece of parchment on top), cut then into squares and then transfer the whole thing onto your rimmed cookie sheet. Yes the edges of the crackers will be touching…and it is totally ok.
The crackers are a little more bland in their original version but there are many options for spicing it up so check out the bottom of the recipe for suggestions on variations. I actually don’t mind bland. It means that it tastes even more fantastic with nut butter! Just saying!
Enjoy these crackers…whether or not you are making them with your little People or not. Just try not to burn them!
Gluten Free Almond Flour Crackers
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups almond flour, blanched or raw, finely ground*
*Finely ground (rather than coarse-ground) blanched almond flour makes the crispiest crackers.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Whisk together the egg, salt, pepper, and any additional spices or add-ins (see "tips," below.)
Add the almond flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough.
Place the dough onto a sheet of parchment, or a piece of plastic wrap. Pat it out with your hands, and top with an additional piece of parchment or plastic wrap. Roll the dough out to about 1/8" thickness; it should be about 10" x 12", or larger.
Remove the top paper, and use a pizza wheel or knife to cut 1" squares. Move the cut crackers, along with their parchment, to the baking sheet. If you've used plastic wrap, spray the pan with non-stick baking spray, and transfer the crackers from the plastic to the pan.
Bake the crackers for 14 to 16 minutes, until they're light golden brown. The crackers around the perimeter will tend to brown more quickly, so transfer those to a cooling rack and return the pan to the oven to finish baking the remaining center crackers.
Cool the crackers completely before transferring them to an airtight bag for room-temperature storage.
Cheese Crackers Add 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder, a dash of Tabasco or a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 1 cup finely grated cheese.
Seedy Crackers Add 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or the seed blend of your choice.
Spicy Crackers Add 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, plus 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (e.g., Sriracha, Tabasco, Frank's Red Hot) for extra kick.
Cinnamon-Sugar Crackers Omit the black pepper, and sprinkle 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar over the tops of the crackers before baking.