Fruit and Nut Crackers

A while back I purchased these beautiful crackers from Whole Foods. I was visiting my daughter at the time and we paired them with cheese that night for a pre-dinner treat. The brand is Raincoast, and the crackers are $9.99 for 6 ounces – yes, a bit pricey. They have a few different varieties, but I don’t know how many exactly.

Once home, I paired the leftover crackers with my faux Boursin this past July. The combination of the fruitiness with the goat cheese was just perfect. Really, these crackers aren’t extremely sweet, even with the dried fruits. But there is just enough sweetness that they really add something to a cheese pairing of any kind.

Because Whole Foods is a four-hour round trip for me, I decided to make these little guys myself. How hard could it be?!! This was a first for me – I typically make yeasted breads myself to pair with cheeses, like my bread for cheese.

But these are simply dense little quick breads, that were then sliced, and toasted. I couldn’t wait! Most of the fun was picking out the fruit and nut combination. I decided on sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, flax seeds, dried plums, dried cranberries, and cocoa nibs.

They turned out fabulously. I had to freeze them so I wouldn’t keep eating them! But you know I’ll be pulling them out of the freezer come the holidays…

Fruit and Nut Crackers

1 cup dried fruits – I used half cranberries and half diced plums
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups rice milk or dairy milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rye flour
1 1/2 cups white flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 little pans – mine were approximately 3 1/2″ by 7 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ inside diameter. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In a larger bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the rice milk or your choice of milk. Then add the brown sugar and molasses and whisk well.

Add the rye flour and whisk to combine. Then change to a wooden spoon and add the 1 1/2 cups of white flour. Stir just until combined. Add the bowl of fruits, seeds, and nuts, and stir just until even distributed.

toast6

Divide the batter in between the three pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Let the breads cool completely. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the breads as thinly as possible.

Then place them on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Toast the remaining slices, if you can’t do them all at once in the oven. You should end up with approximately 68 crackers.

Today I served the crackers alongside Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk. It’s a washed rind cows’ milk cheese that’s really soft. It’s not as “pourable” as a French Époisses, but it’s still fabulously soft.

cowgirl

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