Archives for category: Snacks

I finally bought a mandolin.  And what was the first thing I did upon return home?  Make two varieties of chips, of course!

Apple chips were a sinch to make.  Slice the apple, sprinkle sugar + cinnamon + nutmeg mix on them, pop them in the dehydrator until they look done (several hours).  Verdict: not as good as I thought.  They were still a bit chewy.. I prefer a raw apple.

Potato chips were a bit more involved and didn’t come out as perfect.  I decided to go with salt and vinegar chips.  I cut the potatoes and then soaked the slices in vinegar (I actually put them in a skillet and simmered them for 5 minutes, then let them soak for a while.  After draining the liquid, I tossed them in oil, salt and pepper.  Spread them on a baking sheet and at 400 I cooked them about 20 minutes.  Verdit: the flavor was totally there, but the baking wasn’t.  Most of them cooked too much while the center ones didn’t cook enough.

This is a recipe I’ve seen all over the interwebs and have been waiting for a lazy Saturday to try it out.  Goldfish crackers are easily one of my favorite off-limits snack, but if I make it myself then it’s ok to eat, right?

Ingredients

1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
4 tablespoon(s) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I used salted butter, but didn’t add any salt afterward)
8 ounce(s) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (around 2 cups). 
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder (note: this is optional since it isn’t part of the original recipe, but I decided to add anyway since I used it)
1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

  1. Pulse the flour,onion powder, salt, pepper, and baking powder together using a food processor.
  2. Add the butter and cheese, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Pulse in 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rides the blade. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes (I put it in the freezer for 20 minutes and in the fridge for 10) or up to 24 hours.
  4. Bake the crackers: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Roll the dough out to 1/8th-inch thickness, using flour if necessary to prevent stickiness. Cut out as many crackers as possible.
  5. To add character to the fish: break off an end from a side of a toothpick so it is blunt. Use that point to make the goldfish eyes. To make the smile, lay the toothpick down on its side, press, and drag. If you try to use the toothpick point, it will ruin the smile.
  6. Optional: Refrigerate for another 15 minutes or so to make sure they won’t spread.
  7. Place them on the prepared baking pans. Bake until golden and crisp (13-18 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. They are best when completely cooled and the next day in my opinion. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

From http://www.missanthropistskitchen.com/2011/06/22/homemade-goldfish-crackers-with-a-homemade-goldfish-cookie-cutter/

The hubster is a big pickle fan, and with dozens upon dozens of cucumbers popping up in our garden this summer, we got plenty of experience making these two Alton Brown pickle recipes.


Dill Pickles

Ingredients (altered)
2.75 ounces pickling salt
8 cups filtered water
8 cups apple cider vinegar
Enough pickles to fill 3 big mason jars
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 large bunch dill

Directions

Combine the salt, water, and vinegar in a simmering pot and stir until the salt has dissolved.

Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and snip off the blossom end stem. Set aside.

Place the peppercorns, pepper flakes, garlic, dill seed and fresh dill into the pot.  Add the cucumbers to the pot on top of the aromatics. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers in order to completely cover.

From http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/dill-pickles-recipe/index.html

Kinda Sorta Sours Pickles

Ingredients
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon pickling spice
4 whole garlic cloves, smashed

Directions

Combine the onion and cucumber slices in a clean spring-top jar.

Combine the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the garlic, in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 full minutes to wake up the spice flavors.

Add the garlic cloves to the jar. Slowly and gently pour the pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slices, filling to the top of the jar.

Cool to room temperature. Top off the pickles with any remaining pickling liquid and refrigerate.

From http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/kinda-sorta-sours-recipe/index.html

Smitten Kitchen has done it once again with this delectable looking snack.  I imagine it being a rather arduous process, but with few ingredients how hard can it be?  Oh, can’t forget a tip my friend gave me: limit the amount of baking soda you put in water when it comes time to boil, otherwise we’ll have alkaline tasting pretzels.

Update: the dough was too salty, so next time we should reduce the salt during the first step.  Also, when rolling out the pretzels make them scrawnier with bigger loops, in order for them to look more like the soft pretzels at the mall (ignore the picture below).  Finally, not too sure I was a big fan of the egg glaze… maybe butter instead?

Soft Pretzels
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Updated with a few tweaks 2/20/2009

Makes 16 full-sized or 32 miniature

2 cups warm water (100°F to 110°F)
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons canola or other neutral oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1 large egg
Coarse or pretzel salt
Vegetable-oil cooking spray

1. Pour warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into bowl of electric mixer fitted with a dough hook* and stir to combine. Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.

2. Add 1 cup flour to yeast, and mix on low until combined. Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup flour, and knead on low 1 minute more. If dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour (this will depend on weather conditions); knead until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board, and knead about ten times, or until smooth.

3. Pour oil into a large bowl; swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.

4. Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly spray two baking sheets with cooking spray (parchment paper, ungreased, also works). Set aside. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured board. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces (about 2 1/2 ounces each) or 32 if making miniature pretzels, and wrap in plastic.

5. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long strip. [I find the pretzels much easier to roll on an unfloured board, oddly enough, but see what works for you.] Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Continue to form pretzels; eight will fit on each sheet (you may need a third sheet if making miniatures). Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda (and step back, it foams up quickly) and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce to a simmer; transfer three to four pretzels to water. Poach 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.

7. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, uncovered, for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.

* These days, I mix all of my bread doughs by hand, with a wooden spoon. I find it a fantastically easy process, and not very hard to stir by hand. No need to mix for several minutes, just a minute or so after it looks combined. To save even more dishes, I rinse out the bowl, oil it and use it for proofing the dough. And you thought making bread wasn’t simple!

From http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/02/knotted-and-stacked-disappearing-acts/