Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recipe for Cheese Crackers with Almond Flour (Gluten Free)

Cheese Crackers with Almond FlourThese gluten-free crackers made with almond flour and cheese were so addictive it turned out to be a good thing I only made half the recipe when I tried them! They're from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by fellow food blogger Elana Amsterdam from Elana's Pantry. I received a review copy of the book, and although I don't need to eat gluten-free foods, I found a lot of recipes that look interesting. I'm looking forward to meeting Elena next weekend when we're both on a panel about Food Blogging Best Practices at the BlogHer Food conference in San Francisco.

Interestingly, the use of almond flour that makes the crackers gluten-free makes them South Beach Diet friendly as well. They don't have a huge amount of cheese, and although the crackers are certainly not low in fat, most of it would be considered "good fat" under South Beach guidelines. However the crackers are fairly calorie dense (not to mention that addictive factor I mentioned) so if you're following South Beach to lose weight, I'd use portion control on these tasty nibbles.

It's important to use freshly grated cheese for this recipe (not cheese in a package that comes already grated.) The already grated cheese has something added to prevent clumping, and for this recipe, you want the ingredients to clump! I used extra sharp cheddar for the crackers in these photos.

Elana recommends blanched almond flour from Honeyville Food Products, and it's a Utah company! (Edit: If you live in Utah, Honeyville has a retail store in Salt Lake City!) I bought five pounds of the almond flour and it's definitely a finer grind than the Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal I've used in the past. For this recipe, start by mixing almond flour, salt, baking soda and cheese.

In a different bowl, whisk together the oil and egg, then stir that into the almond flour mixture. Here is where you want that clumping action I mentioned!

I doubt you can successfully make this recipe without parchment paper, which you can buy in any grocery store. You need two sheets, cut to the size of your baking sheet (unless you're using a toaster oven and baking half at a time like I was, then you'll need three sheets of parchment.) My rolling pin skills leave a lot to be desired, so I started out with half the dough, roughly in the shape of the parchment.

Put the second sheet of parchment on top of the dough, then roll out so the dough exactly covers the parchment. (Or if you're rolling pin impaired like me, do the best you can!)

Remove the parchment and cut crackers into pieces about 2 inches square. I did a messy job of cutting them, a pizza wheel would have been good for this but I don't have one. Slide the parchment on to the baking sheet and bake at 350F/175C for 12-15 minutes.

I found that in my toaster oven 12-13 minutes was long enough to get these crisp and golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes (unless you have to bake another batch like me!)

I slid the first batch off to a cutting board to cool while I baked the second batch. (Of course I couldn't resist sampling a few before they were even cool.)

Elana's recipe says half a batch should be about 30 crackers, which is almost exactly how many I got (they're not all on that plate!) These were a delicious snack, and they'd be perfect to serve as a nibble for a party.

Cheese Crackers with Almond Flour (Gluten Free)
(Makes about 30 crackers, recipe from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elena Amsterdam. This recipe is half the amount in the book, so double it and make the full recipe if you prefer.)

1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour (not the same as almond meal)
1/8 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar and lightly packed it into measuring cup)
1 1/2 T canola oil (Elana uses grapeseed oil, which I didn't have)
1 large egg

If you store your almond flour in the freezer like I do, you'll need to take it out and let come to room temperature for a few minutes before using in the recipe. Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grate 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and cheese. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and oil. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.

Cut two pieces of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet. (To bake in a toaster oven with a small baking sheet, you'll need three pieces.) Put one piece of parchment on cutting board and put dough on top, or half the dough if baking on small baking sheet. (I made the dough into the shape of the parchment.) Put second piece of parchment on top of the dough and roll out with rolling pin until dough covers the parchment sheet. (It's fairly important to roll it out the same thickness or the thinner pieces will burn, a lesson I learned the hard way.)

Remove top parchment and cut dough into pieces 2 inches square. (A pizza cutter would be perfect for this if you have one.) Slide the parchment with the cut dough onto baking sheet and bake crackers 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Let crackers cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes (or if you need to bake another batch like I did, carefully slide first batch off to cutting board to cool while you use baking sheet to bake the second batch.)

Crackers will keep for a few days in a plastic container, if you can manage to keep them around that long!



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South Beach Suggestions:
Even though I used full fat cheddar cheese in my crackers, there isn't a large amount of cheese and the fat from the almond flour and oil is what the South Beach Diet considers to be "good fat." However, these are still calorie dense and since nuts are restricted in portion size for the diet, these crackers should probably be a "once in a while treat" for active dieters.

More Gluten-Free Baking with Almond Flour or Almond Meal:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Cookies with Almond and Flax Seed Meal from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Triple Almond Cookies from Kalyn's Kitchen
Flourless Sugar-Free Pistachio Cookies (Gluten-Free) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Rosemary Fig Crackers (Gluten-Free) from Elana's Pantry
Savory Grain-Free Crackers (Gluten-Free) from Karina's Kitchen
Gluten-Free Chickpea Crackers from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Gluten-Free Lemon Yogurt Cake from Karina's Kitchen
Gluten-Free Almond and Blueberry Cookies from Lucullian Delights
Gluten-Free Graham Crackers from Cakes and Commerce
Gluten-Free Sesame Rosemary Crackers from The Crispy Cook
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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51 comments:

Karina Allrich said...

These crackers look delicious. I love the big flavor you get with almond flour and shredded cheese. Wish I could meet you and Elana at BlogHer. Maybe next time! xox

Nupur said...

Kalyn- they look beautiful, all crunchy and golden.

I have been using almond flour to sub for some of the regular flour in baked goods, and this is a nice new way to use it.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Those came out great! I am going to have to try this sans dairy.

Kalyn said...

Karina, I wish you were going to be there! You know I'll be thinking of you, and yes, next time for sure!

Nupur, thanks. I really love that almond flour Elana recommends (and what fun that it's a Utah product!)

Heather in SF (@HeatherHAL) said...

These sound really tasty, I'm going to look for almond flour and bake some. I'm always on the hunt for something great to go with wine! I hope to meet you at BlogHerFood!

Kalyn said...

Alisa, I'm thinking there are a lot of variations that could be good. (Not sure why your comment came after mine above?? Hate it when that happens.)

Heather, thanks! Likewise, please be sure to say hi if you see me.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I doubt that I would have any self-control with these crackers in the house -- they look delicious, and I love almost anything baked with cheese. I've never tried to make crackers, but now I'm tempted.

emily said...

Kalyn, I have an idea/suggestion from another rolling pin challenged person - what if you formed the mix into a log, refrigerated it a bit to firm up, and sliced it thin? Obviously they would be round instead of thin, but even as knife challenged as I am, I'm even more rolling pin challenged!

Kalyn said...

Lydia, first time I ever made crackers too, but these were so delicious. Really loved the texture especially.

Emily, LOVE that idea. I also like the idea of having round crackers. Will definitely try it.

Cookin' Canuck said...

I will attest to the fact that these crackers are delicious! They are light and full of flavor. They would be perfect to dip into a bowl of soup.

Maria said...

A quick note... I googled stuffed zucchini and found your blog... I was thinking I'd end up cutting the zucchini (the size of my husband's arm!) the long way... then I saw your recipe! I tried it that way and it was FABULOUS!
I made it on the light side, using lean 90% ground turkey breast...
It also looked as good as it tasted!
Thanks so much! ~Maria

Kalyn said...

Maria, how fun. That must have been a VERY big zucchini! Glad you liked the recipe.

Joelen said...

I love the use of almond flour in these and they are so easy to make! Great job!

the Italian Dish said...

Hey Kalyn - I can eat wheat, but I love anything with almond flour. I didn't know there was a cookbook about baking with almond flour! And thanks for all the almond flour links. It's one of my favorite ingredients. These crackers look great.

Johanna said...

wow these sound great - I was wondering if I could do these with corn flour (not corn starch) - I am yet to come across almond flour - have only recently discovered that it is not the same as almond meal

Deann said...

Honeyville also does $4.49 shipping for orders and sends out coupons codes now and then.

I love ordering from them.

Cheri said...

I love cheese crackers and have several friends that are gluten free. I will have to try these.

I am looking forward to meeting you at BlogHer Food this weekend!

Kalyn said...

Dara, thanks for the thumbs up! You and Maria were my taste testers.

Joelen, thanks. Loved them (maybe a bit too much!)

Italian Dish, I remember your wonderful pistachio cookies with almond flour (which I think I made with almond meal back then.) I bet you'll love these.

Johanna, I don't know anything about corn flour so not sure. The almond flour is high in fat, so you might need to add more oil. Let us know if you try it (although corn flour wouldn't be good for South Beach, so I'll have to stick to this version!)

DeAnn, my first time ordering from them so I look forward to getting a coupon! Will definitely be buying this almond flour again.

Cheri, do be sure to say hi if you see me. I'm so excited about meeting so many new bloggers I haven't met.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kalyn, Is there a carb and calorie count for these wonderful looking goodies? I am on restricted carbs and do not want to tempt myself if I can't go there. Thank you, Karen

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, I don't count carbs or calories, that's one reason I chose South Beach for my way of eating. I know there are some places online where you can type in ingredients and it will calculate that for you, but I don't have that information.

Jennifer Carden said...

Looks great, can't wait to try them. I just tried a new product (the name escapes me right now) they have cheese, or sweet chocolate flavored ones they are so good!! Yours remind me of them!

allijag said...

Those definitely look so addicting - now I am just craving a huge box of cheezits for dinner (unless you'd like to come make those crackers for me!) :)

Mangerati said...

I bet they taste great (they definitely do look great!).

I've never baked anything with Almond flour before, will definitely try it.

FabFrugalFood said...

These look like a healthy homemade version of "Cheez Its." Do they have a similar taste?

Thanks for the great post - can't wait to try these!

See you in Frisco in a few days!!!

Donna

Cindi said...

Thanks for posting this recipe, Kalyn! I have a daughter-in-law who is celiac, and I'm always on the look-out for things I can make for her. My husband works a couple of blocks away from the Honeyville store in SLC, and today I had him stop in and buy some almond flour. I will be making this recipe tomorrow. I've only used almond meal in recipes before, and I'm anxious to use the flour. I can't wait to taste them!

tokyoterrace said...

Awesome recipe! My sister has Crohn's Disease and can't eat most crackers, so this is a perfect recipe for her to try. Thanks for sharing!

astrorainfall said...

I think everyone could do with less gluten. Yay to another South Beach friendly recipe.

Kalyn said...

They do taste quite a bit like Cheezits, but better, fresher and more natural flavors. I'm guessing any Cheezit fan will like these! I think this is a recipe that most anyone will love.

Cindi, thanks for tipping me off that Honeyville has a store in Salt Lake! Just googled it and will definitely be going there.

George said...

Thanks Kalyn. This recipe sounds wonderful. I will try it soon. This might also make a nice low carb thin and crispy pizza crust, using either mild or sharp cheddar.

Kalyn said...

George, the book does have a pizza crust recipe which I'm planning to try.

Christine said...

Recipe saved! These are stunning, and perfect for the way I'm eating these days.

penstalker said...

This recipe for crackers are nice!! And healthy too. I don't count calories in my diet too so I can just eat to my heart's content. :D

Mrs. Ed said...

I'm a big almond flour fan. I really enjoyed this post and all the extra links.

Healthy Recipes said...

It the first time I'm thinking about making crackers. Its a great idea to make it gluten free.

sisseranne said...

I am making these crackers again today. I have made them at least 4 or 5 times since you posted it! The first time I made it, I used "natural" almond flour, which isn't as white in color. It has the skins still on the nut when made into the flour. It is more like almond meal...anyway...the crackers still came out great. They looked more like a whole grain cracker. Since then I've used the blanched almond flour because I prefer them to look more like a cheese cracker. My daughter-in-law who is Celiac loved them....and so did the rest of the family! I have 3 different neighbors who are also Celiac. I made these crackers for two of them last week, and the third neighbor gets them today! So far they all give this recipe the thumbs up!! If anyone doesn't want to buy 5 lbs of this at a time (like I get from Honeyville), I noticed that Super WalMart here in Utah sells Bob's Red Mill Blanched Almond Flour (not almond meal) in smaller packages. I found it up on a higher shelf right by the regular flour.

I just had to report back that these are really good crackers that anyone would enjoy. Oh...and I also sprinkle them lightly with a course salt before baking. (This makes them more like a cracker to me.) The dough is not salty, and I enjoy the little sprinkle I give them. I know that not everyone would want to do this.

Great recipe!

Kalyn said...

Sisseranne, so glad they have been such a hit. Elana's cookbook has a lot of other great variations for gluten-free crackers and breads. You might like the book if you're cooking for people who need gluten-free.

Lucy said...

This is AWESOME!! Thank you!!!

Michelle Merritt said...

Just wanted to tell you these crackers were fantastic! We used raw swizz cheese and it was sooo sharp and yummy. :)

Kalyn said...

Michelle, so glad you enjoyed them!

Anonymous said...

Really delish. I didn't have parchment paper so I used a little WW flour to do the rolling. worked fine.

Kalyn said...

So glad you enjoyed the crackers.

Anonymous said...

These are really addicting, but I used mild cheddar so it wasn't as good as I expected. Also a little on the grainy side, and a strange after taste. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

The recipe is great. I substituted 1/3 cup of rye flour, which does add to the carb count but worth it if you love rye (with onion and liedrkranz cheese!)

I used a mild cheddar because I wanted the rye to stand out.

Kalyn said...

I love the sound of this with rye flour!

Anonymous said...

I too loved the taste and texture of this sinfully good cheese IT gf cracker. Couldn't quit nibbling on the first batch. They dried to a nice crisp snap for me. Let them all dry for hours actually, then placed them in an air tight container. The next day when time to serve...they all got chewy or almost rubbery. Moist and limp. HELP! What did I do wrong...and how to I keep that fabutabulous snippy little snap? Thanks PS. used everything as you did. The cheese was raw non animal rennet cheese do you think that was the culprit?

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, sorry but I don't really know what happened. It might be the cheese, but also I live in Utah where it's very dry so that might make a difference.

djean schna said...

Really like these, & have made em several times, but they DON'T look like yours! (Probably don't taste like yours either) Yours look actually like cheezits. They're so orange & cheese colored! I've already added more cheddar than the recipe calls for, a lil parm, powdered sun dried tomato, & basil at times. When tomato is added they're darker, but they're not orange even w/out the tomato. Am I doing something wrong??

Kalyn Denny said...

If they taste good I wouldn't worry about the color. It might have just been the light on the day I took those photos!

Sandra Young said...

I made these yesterday and they were deelish:) Instead of salt I used a little Cajun seasoning and garlic powder...yum.

Donna Rogers said...

My name is Donna Peterson and myy comment will probably not make your approved list but here it goes anyway. I'm not sure what the big issue is about Bob's almond flour but since that was the only one I had in my kitchen that was the one I used today to make the cheese crackers. Not only were they NOT an absolute mess but they were absolutely delicious! Besides using Bob's almond flour the only variation I made was I used a sharp cheddar with jalapenos...Fantastic!

Kalyn Denny said...

Donna, do you really think I am that touch to not publish your comment? I don't have an issue with Bob's Red Mill at all, but back in 2009 when I made these crackers they only made almond meal, which was coarser than the almond flour I used. I think they now make a finer ground almond flour, which would probably work great for this.

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