Friday, December 21, 2012

Fun in the Kitchen- Twice Baked Crisps

Okanagan Crisps- apples, pears and walnuts
You know those delicious, famous crisps sold in the grocery stores?  Well, I've been experimenting with my own crisps in unique, awesome flavours and they are wonderful!  I found the basic recipe on the Internet- that's the starting point - and then, the fun begins...

I've based my crisps on my favourite flavour combinations... you can do the same.

The yield for each recipe will depend on how thinly you slice the crisps.  I bought a food slicer to ensure even slices, a little less than 1/4 inch thick.

The Basic Ingredients
2     cups unbleached all purpose flour
2     tsp baking soda
1/2  tsp salt
2     cups buttermilk
1/4  cup honey
1/4  cup brown sugar
1/4  cup sesame seeds
1/2  cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4  cup ground flax seeds
1     cup chopped dried fruit (see below)
1/2  cup chopped nuts (see below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, sugar, honey and seeds.  Stir until just combined.  Add dried fruit and nuts and stir to combine.

Pour the batter into 2 8" x 4" loaf pans which you have sprayed with cooking spray).  Bake 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
In the oven- twice!

Cool and place in the freezer.  When firm, slice as thin as possible.  Place slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 12 minutes.  Flip the slices over and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Note: the beauty of these crisps is that you can bake the loaves and keep them in the freezer for slicing later, when you want awesome fresh baked crisps.

NOW for the fun part.  I've created a few winning combinations:

1.  Espresso:  I wanted to bake a crisp with chocolate covered espresso beans.  What dried fruit combo would work best? Dried cranberries, orange rind and almonds...

2.  Mediterranean:  I love dried figs.  Combined with walnuts and lemon rind, they make an excellent crisp.

3.  Carribean: The flavours of the Islands- dried tropical fruit combined with strips of coconut, orange rind and cashews and just the right spices- nutmeg and allspice with a little cayenne to round them out.  To pump up the coconut flavour, substitute 1/2 cup of buttermilk with coconut milk.  Awesome!

4.  Okanagan: Memories of harvest time in the Valley: dried apples and pears, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, toasted walnuts- these are my favourites!

5.  Global:  Combine dried apricots, cranberries, roasted salted almonds, lemon and/or orange rind as well as 1 teaspoon of rosemary.

These are just the beginning- still to come: Thai, Italian, Mexican...  Suggestions anyone?

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