Based on Apricot Pecan Thyme Crisps by Judy Barbe on livebest.info.
For a long time, I have been complaining about store-bought crackers and chips. You buy an 11 ounce box of crackers, but when you open it, it’s only half filled, and they can cost anywhere from $2.50 to $5.00. So I went in search of a cracker recipe to see if I could save some money.
I located a recipe on livebest.info for Apricot Pecan Thyme Crisps. The recipe seemed straight-forward. This cracker is basically a bread biscotti. You make bread and then after baking it once, you slice it and bake it again. Voila, you have crackers!
After making this recipe several times, I decided to change it up a bit. The recipe includes a variety of nuts and dried apricots. You can use whatever combination of nuts and dried fruit that suits your fancy. I bought this Pumpkin Bread mix from Trader Joe’s and figured, why not use this as the basis of a cracker.
The key to this recipe is chilling the baked mini loaves of bread for at least 2 hours prior to slicing. I, like many people, am very impatient and want to get on with the recipe. I often can’t wait for my baking to cool down sufficiently to either frost a cake or cut a slice of pie. I use an 8-cavity non-stick mini loaf pan, which I do spray with Pam and line with strips of parchment paper to make it easier to life the loaves out of the pan. I get about 10 – 12 mini loaves of bread, which yields over 100 crackers!
Pumpkin and Date Thyme Crisps
- 1 package Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix
- black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1/4 molasses
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray 8 mini loaf pans with baking spray and line with a strip of parchment paper.
- Combine milk and vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin bread mix and pepper. Take out about 1/4 cup of the mix and add it to a separate bowl, and add the chopped dates and nuts. Toss to coat. This prevents the fruit and nuts from sinking to the bottom of the batter.
- Add molasses to sour milk and mix to combine. Add the milk mixture to the dry large bowl of dry ingredients. Add the fruit and nut mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Add batter to loaf tray, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes until brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the loaf.
- Let cool to room temperature. Wrap the individual loaves in plastic wrap and put in freezer for about 2 hours. You don’t want them frozen solid, but you do want them firm enough to slice into crackers.
- Heat oven to 300 degrees. With a serrated knife, slice the loaves into 1/8 inch slices. If you prefer a thicker cracker, you will have to bake them slightly longer. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 30 minutes until dry. As they cool, they will crisp even more. Cool and store in an airtight container.
- This recipe is very molasses forward. If you are not a fan of the flavor, try substituting one of the following: 1 cup dark corn syrup, honey or maple syrup; 3/4 cup brown sugar; 3/4 cup granulates sugar plus 1/4 cup water. If you use the honey or the granulated sugar, you will need to increase any spices you use to compensate for the lost flavor.
- Use cranberries or any dried fruit.
- If you are using dried fruit, try rehydrating it slightly with rum or whisky.
- Use macadamia nuts or hazelnuts, or any combination of nuts you prefer.
- If you don’t like thyme, season with rosemary or sage.
- If you don’t want to bake all the crackers at once, you can freeze the loaves until needed. Just thaw the loaf long enough to be able to slice the bread easily.