These Homemade Gourmet Crackers are a revelation. Simple to make, keeps for weeks, costs less than 20% of store bought and taste so much better, you’ll be amazed (I was!). Spectacular with cheeses and spreads, and for gifting!
Stop press!!! Big news – DOZER HAS A BUTTON!! ↑↑↑ For all Dozer lovers out there who just want to skip straight to Dozer and see what cheeky antics he’s up to today, just click on the Dozer button and it will take you straight down to him, then you can come back and read the post!!!
Oh – there is a button to jump to the Recipe too, which I’ve had for a while now, and I also added a button to jump straight down to the Video.
A button for everyone – whatever you’re after! Dozer, recipe video or just the recipe!
OK, enough about the Dozer button. Onto today’s recipe – Homemade Gourmet Crackers!! I am super excited about this one because I’ve had some great feedback from my official taste testing team (aka my mother’s golf friends who descend upon the beach shack for a post-golf lunch and provide very constructive feedback on my recipes).
These crackers are so great, I really wish I had a fantastic story to go with them. But actually, I don’t. Quite simply, gourmet crackers are all the rage nowadays but I just can’t bring myself to pay the rather obscene prices for them. Fellow Aussies may have noticed a certain brand of gourmet crackers prominently placed near the cheese and spreads section of supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles. Crackers that look just like these homemade ones – except they are round – and they cost $6 for 15 pieces. $6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have been known to drop a small fortune on designer shoes a handful of times in my life. However, I cannot bring myself to pay $6 for one packet of gourmet crackers, especially when 1 packet would never suffice for my gatherings, I’d have to get 3 or 4. Can you imagine paying $24 just for the crackers for a cheese board??
Oh wait, I just realised I totally lied. I did buy one packet – for taste testing purposes, to copy them. 😉 I’d been eyeing them off for months, wanting to do a huge cheese board with these gourmet crackers. Then finally the penny dropped – get a packet and copy them.
So that’s what I did.
These are very simple to make. It’s just like mixing up a muffin batter, except it’s baked in a loaf tin. Freeze (to make it super easy to slice thinly), slice, then bake again. It’s like making biscotti (ooooh, haven’t done that yet!!). It’s highly customisable, and brilliant for making ahead because the baked crackers stay crisp for at least 1 month OR you can keep the loaf in the freezer for weeks and weeks, then bake when you want them.
My taste testers agreed 100% that there is no contest when comparing these Homemade Gourmet Crackers to the store bought ones. With homemade, you can actually truly taste the ingredients – the spices, the cranberries, the sunflower seeds. The store bought one has far less flavour. When you taste them one after the other, which we all did, the difference is so “in your face”, it’s quite extraordinary.
If you’re planning a cheeseboard these upcoming holidays, I truly hope you consider these. Your family and friends will be blown away. They really are so simple, customisable, and make ahead – my taste testers were eating crackers I’d made 4 weeks earlier!
Oh – and they cost about 20% of the gourmet crackers that I copied. 🙂 I have a little gathering with friends this weekend, and I’m wondering how many times I will point to the crackers on the cheese board and proudly say “I made those”. I’ll ask my friends to keep count! – Nagi x
These are a copycat of Gourmet Crackers sold at my local shops which are so expensive to buy! For 1/5th of the price to buy, these are simple to make and they taste much better (having done side by side taste testing!). They last for at least a month in an airtight container, or you can keep the loaf in the freezer then slice and bake when desired. They taste sweet / savoury and are perfect with cheese. Customisable! Recipe VIDEO below.
- 1 cup / 250 ml milk (any fat % cow's milk)
- ¼ cup / 50g brown sugar , packed
- ¼ cup plain unsweetened yoghurt (I used Greek)
- ½ cup / 75g plain flour (all purpose)
- ½ cup / 75g whole wheat / wholemeal flour
- ½ cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit of choice)
- 1 tsp baking soda / bi-carb (or 3 tsp baking powder)
- ½ cup rolled oats (or 1/3 cup more nuts of choice)
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds (or other seeds or nuts of choice)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric (can omit)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (or All Spice or 1/8 tsp cloves)
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary (or ½ tsp more thyme)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 180C/350F (all oven types). Grease and line a small loaf tin with baking paper (mine is 21 x 11 x 7 cm / 8.5 x 4.5 x 3”) (Note 1).
Whisk the milk, sugar and yoghurt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, add plain flour, wholemeal flour and cranberries. Stir – use fingers to break up cranberries if required.
Add remaining ingredients, including Spices, plus the milk mixture. It should be a thick batter, like muffin batter (note: batter in video looks slightly thicker because it was standing for a couple of minutes, doesn't affect outcome).
Scrape/pour into tin. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool on rack, then wrap in cling wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours, up to 3 months. (Note 2)
Unwrap loaf and allow to thaw partially so the outside is not rock hard frozen (around 20 minutes).
Preheat oven to 120C/250F (all oven types). Place one shelf in the middle, and another shelf beneath it.
Use a serrated bread knife to slice thinly – around 2 mm / 1/12” thick (see video). Place biscuits on 2 large baking trays, you can squeeze them in as they won’t expand or stick.
Bake for 50 minutes or until they are a light brown, swapping trays halfway.
Leave biscuits on tray to cool – they will harden so they snap when you break them. (Note 3)
Store in an airtight container for 4 weeks (probably ok for longer, I’ve only done 4 weeks). Brilliant served with creamy cheeses like brie, camembert, but soft, creamy blue cheeses is the ultimate pairing!
1. The size of the loaf tin determines the shape of the cracker. I like using a small one so you get more height to the loaf, so when it slices they are a nice rectangle shape.
The source recipe (see Note 3) suggests baking the batter in mason jars to make them round which looks terrific. My concern here was ensuring that the mason jar used is in fact oven proof, and because I don’t even know if mine are, I opted to stay away from this technique. You can actually get baking tubes the size of crackers! However, there are no hard and fast rules about what shape gourmet crackers should be and the rectangle shape of mine are good for snapping into 2 pieces so each piece becomes about the size of a round cracker, so I’m happy with these!
2. Freezing the loaf completely through to the middle makes it far easier to slice thinly.
I haven’t actually frozen mine for 3 months (I’ve done around 1 month) but I’ve researched into this based on the ingredients included and it seems that the nuts / fruit will / may start to lose flavour after around 3 months. If they aren’t fully crisp, pop them back in the oven and let them cool in the still hot, closed, turned off oven.
3. This recipe is adapted from this Copycat Trader Joes Pumpkin Cranberry Gourmet Crackers by The Café Sucrefarine, great blog run by a mature husband and wife team. That’s a nice way of saying they have many years of cooking experience, their recipes are reliable and they have great taste! The changes I made: I use milk instead of buttermilk because I honestly could not tell the difference, and I use yoghurt instead of 3 tbsp pumpkin puree because we don't get canned pumpkin here and even if we did, I would prefer to avoid opening a can to just use 3 tbsp. Plus yoghurt combined with milk = great buttermilk sub! I also bake mine longer at a lower temp because I find it crisps the biscuits better without colouring them too much and ensuring the cranberries don't burn.
4. Makes 40 crackers which are about 11 x 3cm / 4.5 x 2.3". Nutrition per cracker.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
LIFE OF DOZER
Dozer smacking his lips over MY lunch today – a very spicy Asian Noodle Salad. No spicy salad for you Dozer! Too painful for you!