Our series following a family’s decision to eliminate gluten continues.
By Carolyn Ketchum -
My youngest, Maggie, is pretty cute, and she wields that cuteness like a weapon.
She uses it to stun you, completely disarm you and then give you the old one-two sucker punch. There you are, thinking to yourself, “Aw, what a precious little child”
and then Kapow! – she clunks you over the head with her intensely strong-willed personality. You didn’t even see it coming and you’re out like a light.
It follows that Maggie is by far the pickiest eater of all my children. You could say
she’s a girl who knows what she likes. Unfortunately, what she likes doesn’t always
fall into the same category as what is best for her. She’s also a creature of routine,
and we’ve found that to help manage her sweet, spirited disposition, fostering (and sometime accommodating) routines goes a long way. A routine helps her deal with transitions better, because even simple things like being picked up from daycare
can unsettle her at times.
So what does any of this have to do with gluten-free food? Well, Maggie loves her Goldfish crackers. They are part of her after-school routine and up until now, I’ve thought that they were a small price to pay for some peace when we got home. But
in my efforts to try to reduce our gluten, I’ve been rethinking snack choices quite drastically. How to overcome her love of Goldfish without throwing off her routine entirely? The answer was pretty obvious: I had to make my own gluten-free version
of Goldfish crackers. Did I really want to go to all the trouble of cutting the dough
into hundreds upon hundreds of little goldfish shapes? A tedious proposition, so I wasn’t exactly eager to get started.
Thankfully, the answer was right in front of me. I remembered a cheesy snack in my recipe repertoire that my kids loved and that blew Goldfish out of the water in terms
of flavor. I had already made two variations of these Chipotle Cheese Crisps. One
was several years ago with Carbalose flour, a low-carb wheat flour that I really no longer use. (I have no idea how they managed to reduce the carbs in the flour, and quite frankly, I am a little afraid to ask.) Besides, it still contains gluten. The second version was with almond flour, and although they were delicious, they didn’t hold together all that well. And if I want them to be school or camp friendly, they have to
be nut-free. So I decided that it was high time to get myself a bag of gluten-free all-purpose flour, and try out the cheese crisps all over again.
Once again, they were a huge hit, with my kids virtually begging me to make them
over and over again. Maggie gobbled up her bowl of cheese crisps with nary a
mention of Goldfish and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. This version held together much better than the almond flour ones, and baked up perfectly crisp and delicious.
I reduced the oven temperature a bit and I found I had to bake them somewhat less than the original gluten-filled version because they seemed to brown a little faster.
One thing I love about these crisps is that the dough log needs to be refrigerated, so you can always just bake however many you need and leave the rest of the dough
for the next day. Crisp, cheesy crackers fresh out of the oven swim circles around Goldfish any day.
Chipotle Cheese Crisps
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chipotle powder (or regular chili powder)
2 cups finely grated cheddar cheese
½ cup butter cut into small pieces, room temperature
1. Whisk together the flour, salt, chipotle powder and cheese. Add the butter and mix until the dough begins to come together. Continue to rub butter in with fingers until a cohesive dough forms.
2. Transfer dough to a large sheet of waxed paper and form into a long log, about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Roll up tightly in the paper and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice dough into ¼ inch thick slices and arrange 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake about 10 minutes, rotating the position of the baking sheets halfway through. Crisps are done when they have puffed up and the edges are golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets.
Carolyn Ketchum is the evil mastermind behind All Day I Dream About Food, a mostly low-carb, gluten-free food blog. She has always been a healthy eater, but since
being diagnosed with diabetes, she has overhauled her own diet and is now working
on that of her family. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Facebook.