I need a snack.

January 6th, 2011

By Jennifer Hwang, Contributing Writer

Normally, I’m a once a day snacker.  Sometime after lunch I’ll have a small snack to keep me going until dinner—ok, maybe sometimes that “small snack” is a cupcake.  But really, only sometimes.

What I found last year on this diet was that I really wanted more snacks throughout the day.  So in addition to fruit, yogurt, nuts, cheese, etc., I started making these savory crackers to munch on until meal time. They’re made of almond meal so they’re high in protein as well as monounsaturated fats, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.  That said, they do still contain more calories and fat than your average cracker—so snack in moderation (especially the cheese version!). Luckily these will keep for awhile in an airtight container so you can eat one batch over a period of days.

The original recipe for these came from a great, gluten-free recipe blog called Elena’s Pantry—check it out at www.elenaspantry.com.  She has some good recipes on there.  I modified her recipe for rosemary crackers slightly to create these cheese crackers.

Cheese Crackers

1 ½  cups blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup grated Gruyere cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear off two pieces of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet.

Mix together almond flour, salt and cheese.  In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil and egg until frothy. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Mix until thoroughly combined, and the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. If the mix is a little too wet (is really sticking to the bowl rather than to itself) add a little more almond meal until it starts to come together.

Roll the dough into a ball, flatten slightly and place between the 2 sheets of parchment paper.  Roll the dough out as thin as you can without making holes in it.  Try for less than 1/8 inch thickness in order to get really crunchy crackers. If you’re using a small baking sheet, you may need to do this in two batches.

Remove the top parchment paper and put the bottom one with the dough onto the cookie sheet. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares (whatever size you want). Bake crackers in the oven for 13-18 minutes until golden.  Remove and let cool for 15-20 minutes.  Store in an airtight container.

NOTE: If your crackers aren’t as crunchy as you like, you can rebake them in small batches for a few minutes (I use the toaster oven) before you eat them and that will usually crisp them up.  Be careful not to burn them though!

Substitutions and Additions: Instead of the cheese, add ½ cup of sesame seeds or 2 TB of finely chopped fresh rosemary.  Make your own variation and share with the rest of us!

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