I’m new to the world of food blogging (this is only my 4th post) so one of the things I have been doing a lot of lately is reading other food blogs to see if I can figure out how this whole crazy thing works. Recently I stumbled upon a great food blog that’s been around for a while www.leitesculinaria.com and saw a recipe for Cheesy Fish Crackers in a post by Lara Ferroni, author of the book Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk . It brought back some fond memories of when my daughter, now 20 and a junior in college, was a little girl. She was wild about Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. They HAD to be in her lunch bag every school day. Back then I bought the famous Pepperidge Farm Goldfish in the giant milk containers and we went through them very quickly. Nowadays my daughter eats healthier snacks and even gave up gluten about a year ago. So when I saw this recipe, and remembered that I actually had a fish cookie cutter, I decided to make the gluten free version to send to her at college. Among the dozens of cookie cutters I own that I have never used is a Wilton fish cookie cutter. I have no idea what I had in mind when I bought this cookie cutter (certainly not giant gold fish crackers) but I’m always happy when I find a use for all those idle kitchen tools and gadgets that I simply can’t resist buying. I thought these crackers would be a little more interesting, and sophisticated, with some heat so I added cayenne pepper to the recipe. I also took the liberty of substituting parmesan cheese for the cheddar. If you want these crackers to have an orange cast, so that they more closely resemble the original iconic snack, then simply substitute a mild cheddar cheese for the parmesan, which is what the original recipe calls.
Just five ingredients make these simple and delicious crackers.
Melt the coconut oil over medium low heat while you measure out the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Add the melted coconut oil to the flour mixture and combine thoroughly. Use a rubber spatula to gather the dough into a ball.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator or freezer if you are not immediately rolling out the crackers.
When you’re ready to roll out the dough, do so between two sheets of plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Don’t try and roll out the entire ball of dough at once. Instead pinch off pieces of dough that are a tad smaller than the size of a golf ball. This will make the rolling and cutting more managable. The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the dough rolled out thin enough. If the dough is not rolled thin enough the crackers will be tough and chewy instead of crispy and crunchy. I use this specialty rolling pin for the job (my favorite baking tool), but you can also use rolling pin rings. Rolling pin rings are plastic or silicone rings that fit onto the ends of your rolling pin and help you roll out dough evenly and to a specified thickness. They come in a variety of sizes depending on the thickness of dough desired, and are available on-line and in cooking stores.
As the pieces of dough are rolled out, peel off the plastic wrap and flip them over onto a cutting board that has been lightly dusted with the gluten free baking flour.
Stamp out fish shapes with the cookie cutter and place them on parchment lined baking sheets. Using the end of a straw or other pointed object, make the fish eyes. Make the fish mouths using the side edge of a spoon – simply hold it at an angle and press it into the dough until a little fish smile appears 🙂
The famous Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.
Bake the crackers until they are golden brown. When they are fully baked they start to curl up a bit at the edges, which makes them look even more like fish!
This recipe also makes wonderful gluten free croutons. Use a small cookie cutter, approximately 1 inch in diameter, and reduce the baking time by 2 or 3 minutes.
You can make any salad more festive by adding holiday shaped croutons. This salad would be great for a Fourth of July lunch or dinner party.
- 1 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour/ 136 g
- ⅓ cup/2ounces finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 Tablespoons/ 2½ ounces hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the gluten free baking flour, salt, parmesan cheese, coconut oil, cayenne pepper, and hot water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Once the dough comes together into a ball, turn it onto a lightly floured (dust with more of the gluten free baking flour) surface and gently knead a few times.
- Roll out the dough until it is very thin, approximately ⅛th to 1/16th of an inch thick.
- Using a fish cookie cutter, approximately 3 x 2 inches in size, cut out the crackers and place them on the baking sheets. Make the fish eyes with the bottom of a straw or other pointed object. Make the fish the mouths with the side edge of a spoon.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, or until they start to brown around the edges.
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