If it’s December, it’s Oh Nuts season. Every year around this time they contact me, to see if I’d like to try out some of their uber-fresh, dizzyingly varied bulk nuts, dried fruit, and candy in my holiday baking. And every year I say yes, please.
I opted for blanched almond flour. While I’m not looking to eat less gluten, necessarily, I’ve come to admire the hint of nuttiness it lends to baked goods—as well as the extra protein and fiber. I can almost convince myself an almond-flour treat is healthy. Almost.
In the past I’ve used it for Almond Snickerdoodles, Chocolate-Almond Spritz Cookies, these endlessly adaptable Pinwheel Cookies, and a spectacular Flourless Chocolate-Raspberry Torte. You see the common thread? All sweet.
Friends, it’s time to branch out. It’s time to take almond flour savory.
These crackers will be the hit of any holiday-party cheese tray. They’re tender and a bit crumbly, akin to a digestive biscuit, with a rich, deep flavor. People will come up to you and ask where you got them, and you’ll tell them, proudly, that you made them yourself. And those people will be impressed, I guarantee, because the big secret of cracker-making is that it’s only slightly harder than making toast. This entire recipe, from beginning to end, will take no more than 30 minutes, after which you’ll have 100 bites of heaven. By the way, that’s gluten-free heaven.
This is currently at the top of my candidates list for holiday gifts to editors and clients, but I’m not sure it’s enough on its own. What do you think? Wrapped up cute, inside a holiday cracker?
Makes about 100
Weight Watchers: 10 crackers are 3 PointsPlus*
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or cayenne, or paprika)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350°F and set racks to upper and lower levels.
- In a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, salt, and pepper. Add the sesame seeds and pulse once or twice, just to distribute. With the machine running, drizzle in the sesame oil, followed by the water, one tablespoon at a time—move quickly, so the sesame seeds don’t get chopped too fine. The dough will be quite clumpy, but don’t expect it to hold together completely.
- Divide the dough in half and place each on a silicone baking mat or sheet of parchment paper. Cover one half with parchment, and roll until uniformly thin—around 1/8”. Use a pizza or pastry cutter to cut into 1-inch squares—combine the ragged edges into a chef’s treat. Repeat with the other half. No need to separate the crackers, since they won’t spread.
- Transfer the mats to baking sheets, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown. Transfer the mats to cooling racks, and snap apart once cooled.
MAKE BABY FOOD: If there are no food allergies in your family, these are fine for older babies.
* Yeah, I’m counting points again!