Meghan has a play group that we have weekly play dates with. It’s a great opportunity for her to practice her social skills, sharing, and…who am I kidding? It’s a time for me to talk and connect with other moms. One thing I miss about going to work every day is the daily adult interaction. So let’s just say it’s a win-win for Meghan and me.
Whoever is hosting usually has a few snacks for the little ones, which I think is Meghan’s favorite part of play group. At one of our recent meet ups, the host had crackers for the kids. Meghan ate her share, and then politely asked for more. And again. And again. She nearly ate the whole bowl.
Hmmmm….somebody is not getting enough crackers at home. That was my cue to make homemade crackers again. It’s been a while since I have, and Meghan’s cracker binge reminded me why I should do it more often.
Meghan loves helping in the kitchen, and making homemade crackers is a great way to get your kids involved with you. While Luke napped, we put on some vintage aprons a family friend gave us and got to work. (If you are reading, thank you, Pam!)
I left the edges rustic rather than re-rolling the dough. The other half we made into elephant shapes using a cookie cutter:
Meghan was in charge of sprinkling the salt on the crackers before we baked them, so you can see some have a lot of salt and others have hardly any at all. It made for a nice variety.
This recipe is awesome because you can mix everything in the food processor, roll it out, and bake it. Could not be easier. If you don’t have a food processor, you can do it by hand (make sure you cut in the butter), but if you do it is beyond quick and easy.
Seriously, if Meghan and I can whip these out during Luke’s nap, and still get other things done, you can do it, too. I promise.
Easy Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook
Delicious homemade crackers that taste like the popular boxed variety, but are much healthier!
1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Sucanat or organic sugar*
1/2 teaspoon salt+ more for sprinkling on top
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter**
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
*These were made before I gave up sugar for Lent, in case you are wondering!
**Real butter is okay, too. I used this since I can’t have dairy.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and paprika. Add the butter and pulse until you have a crumb-like mixture. Add the water and vanilla and process until a dough forms.
Remove the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out as thin as you can without ripping it. The thinner you roll it, the crispier the crackers will be. My end pieces were the most thin and I wish I’d taken the time to make the entire dough that thin.
If you are just going to cut these into squares, you can roll the dough directly on the parchment paper (flour it a little first) and then you can transfer the whole thing to the baking sheet without having to pick up each cracker. This is much quicker and easier. If you don’t have a little one who insists on elephant crackers, I recommend it.
After you’ve rolled your dough, cut into into the shapes you prefer. Transfer either the parchment paper or the individual crackers to baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, until they are golden brown and a little crisp. They will crisp up more as they cool. Watch them closely as they can burn quickly! The crackers can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container. Enjoy!