Sometimes life is like a burnt cracker. We throw everything together and hope for the best. And sometimes it works out.
But not always.
As we make our way through high school, through college, and to life beyond, things get overwhelming–we close our eyes just momentarily, and it seems as if everything has gone wrong. It’s just like a cracker–all the goodies are in there, but one look away from the oven, and all your hard work has been wasted. We can only watch as our lives (and the crackers) burn to a crisp.
So how should we avoid this?
This secret is to observe. Watch the oven–take the time to look at the things around you. Mix the ingredients slowly–treasure the good things in life. Don’t worry about the clumps of flour, the watery batter–those are just distractions. Because in the end, if you follow all those steps, you’ll come out of life beautiful and golden (and great with cheese).
Life can seem hard, and the black crumbs will fall all over you, but there’s beauty in everything. All the fruits, nuts, and honey will come together, and you’ll do just fine.
Here is a recipe that I worked with over Thanksgiving. It’s a super delicious crisp that’s excellent with gouda and brie. It’s a lot of work, but quite easy and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. Just remember, don’t let them burn in the oven!
Recipe adapted from Dinner with Julie and The Saucy Southerner, inspired by Trader Joe’s Raisin Rosemary Crisps
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 c buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk, just combine 1 tbsp of vinegar for every 1 c of milk and let sit for 5 min)
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c honey
Extras (adjust as you wish)
1/4 c ground flax seeds
1/2 c raisins
1/3 c dried cranberries
1/4 c sunflower seeds
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (the more rosemary, the more fragrant your crackers will be)
Baking the Loaves
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
3. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar, and honey in the bowl, and stir gently with a few strokes.
4. Add the extras, and stir until just combined. There will be clumps of flour! Don’t worry about them too much.
5. Pour the batter into 4 mini loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray (I used 3 here, but they ended up a little bit too big).
6. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until puffed, springy, and golden brown. Once done, Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack. Don’t worry if they smell like baking soda! (If you have ever failed at making pretzels, you know what I mean..)
7. When the loaves have cooled, place them in a freezer ziploc bag and freeze overnight. This will make slicing them easier.
Slicing the Loaves
1. Remove the loaves from the freezer and let thaw for a few minutes. Do not let them thaw completely! Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Using a sharp knife, slice the loaves as thinly as you can (but still holding together). It may be easier if you are doing this with a warmed knife.
3. Arrange the slices onto a baking sheet in a single layer. This ensures that the crackers bake evenly.
4. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the crackers, and flip them over; they may still be a little bit soft at this point. Bake them for another 10 minutes until crisp and golden brown–watch them carefully so that they do not burn!
5. Cool and store in an airtight container. They will get soft after a few hours, so if you plan on making these in advance, do toast them for a few minutes before serving.
Also, as a side note, good luck to all high school seniors in the midst of college applications! Let’s emerge as golden crackers..