Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers and Straws

by Jeanne on July 12, 2009


Summer is the time of being out and about for my family. We’re always on the go–to the lake, beach, pool, play dates, whatever. This means we need a constant supply of portable snacks. Of course, summer is a fabulous time for fresh fruits and veggies, but crackers are always in demand.

The other day, Erin, aka The Gluten Free Illustrator (go check out her site, it’s beautiful!) was on Twitter asking for a gluten-free cheese cracker recipe. That reminded me that I have a great recipe that we’ve been using for a couple of years–and I promised that I would post it on my site. And, here it is!

This recipe is adapted from the Crazy Cheese Straws recipe in What’s Cooking: A Cookbook for Kids (inspired by the movie, Ratatouille ). This is a super-cute cookbook, by the way, if you can find it. And, it has a forward by Thomas Keller, of The French Laundry restaurant and cookbook, and Bouchon bistro and cookbook. Keller is my pantheon of chef gods! I am so inspired by his work.

This is a very versatile recipe–you can use it in several ways. We usually use it for cheese straws:

or tiny cheese crackers (a la Goldfish Crackers):

The cheese straws are fast and easy. The tiny cheese crackers are more time-consuming, but are so charming and yummy, they are worth the effort. And the cheese crackers are so handy to have around, especially for kids, when everyone else is eating gluten-filled Goldfish Crackers.

Note: this recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:

Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the crackers and sticks)

Gluten-Free Cheese Crackers

Special equipment needed:
-Small animal cookie cutters–Ateco has a cute collection of them

-if you want bigger crackers, cutters of any shape you’d like
-food processor (you can get away w/o one, but it really makes the process go faster)
-rolling pin
-Silpat mat

Ingredients
1 1/2 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix
6 TBL butter, softened
2 C grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C grated Parmesan and/or Romano (we use just Parmesan)
1 egg
1/4 C milk

-Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper
-place flour, butter, and the cheeses in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse off and on for about 1 minute–until the butter and cheese are evenly mixed with the flour

-Add the egg and pulse until it’s incorporated
-with the processor running, pour the milk through the feed tube and blend until the dough forms a ball-blob:

-Place 1/2 of the dough on the Silpat mat in a blob-ball (sprinkled w/some tapioca flour:

-Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8″ thick:

-Cut out shapes and place on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet:

Gather, re-roll,and cut out until all dough is used (do the same with the second blob of dough). I got something like 140 crackers out of the dough, plus extra to make some cheese straws. The crackers completely filled 2 cookie sheets.

-Bake for 18-20 minutes. Time will depend on how crunchy you want them to be. I baked them until they were brownish around the edges:

-Cool in pan until you’re able to pick them up
-store in airtight container

These are great to take on trips or as an easy snack for kids (and adults). Mine don’t last very long–they are yummy and fun!

Gluten-Free Cheese Straws

Follow same process as for cheese crackers. Instead of rolling out the blobs of dough with a rolling pin, pick out a small piece, roll in your hand into a ball, and then roll the ball into a cylinder:

-Repeat until all the dough is used
-place cylinders on greased or parchment-line baking sheet
-bake for 18-20+ minutes (again, how long will depend on how crunchy you want these–experiment to see what your taste is).
-again, store in an airtight container

These are also great for on-the-go snacks. Or as nibbles with cocktails.

Enjoy!
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