My kids love crackers. I mean, I know most kids love crackers, but these kids LOVE crackers. Especially Lou. That dude would eat crackers all day long if I let him. Sometimes I am tempted to let him. He still kind of sucks in that general realm of 'eat healthy foods to keep yourself alive' category.
Anyway, gluten free crackers are problematic because 1) they are freaking expensive, and 2) most are made primarily with rice flour which has basically zero nutritional value (and there's that whole pesky problem of the rice crop in this country having a high arsenic content. I mean, c'mon.). I have been wanting to make my own for a while now, and while my intentions are good, I am busy. And oh yes, really tired.
I had tucked away a recipe from forever ago for homemade goldfish crackers (because it was simple), but of course it was made with flour. Then I found a little something that has changed the whole gluten free game:
Bob's Red Mill, All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour. For the most part, you use it interchangeably with regular all purpose flour, and the measurements stay the same (ie, recipe calls for a cup of flour, use a cup of this stuff). I have used it in cookies, cupcakes, and a few other things with great results. It is made from garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and fava flour. It's definitely more expensive than regular flour, but it has made life around here a lot easier.
So, goldfish cracker. Throw the following in your food processor:
1 cup GF flour
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pulse all of that together until it looks like coarse sand. Then pulse in tablespoons of cold water until you get to the right consistency (takes me about 2.5 teaspoons to get it right). Then scrape out the dough, roll it into a nice ball, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
After chilling, roll it out on a cutting board. Use the GF flour in the same way you would regular flour, to dust the cutting board and rolling pin (just take a deep breath and don't think about how much each pinch of that flour actually costs...)
We do not have a goldfish cookie cutter and I wanted to make them a little bigger than bite sized. Again, the time factor. So I let Norah pick out which small cutter she wanted to use and she picked the star.
Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper and load it up. The dough does not expand very much as it cooks so you can put them pretty close together. Bake at 350 degrees for about eight minutes (but ovens vary, so just keep an eye on them).
The ones that were cut a little thicker ended up being slightly chewier, which was the preferred consistency of both the kids and myself (I think I ate 17 of them). They got two very enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone who tried them. The next time we did hearts and I think we will do flowers next.
It is not exactly a healthy snack but it is a good alternative to keep in mind.