2/16/09

Does Sugar Equal Love?


As Valentines day approaches I was racking my brain for kid friendly treats we could make. All that came to mind were sugary cookies, sticky treats and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! My daughter came home with a big bag of candy from the school party, so I felt like making more sweets was overkill.
I considered, red bread, pink soup and even a strawberry buckle. We finally decided on crackers, I knew that all the kids wanted to do was use cookie cutters to make heart shapes so crackers seemed like a great idea.


The best part is that they could flavor the crackers how ever they want using that crazy childhood creativity! Remembering that this is a Valentines Day project I wanted to incorporate pink or red. I remembered I
had some beetroot powder and although it is somewhat rare, it is available. Look in the bulk spices section of your natural foods store. It does not have too much flavor, so we used it. It looks great and the girls loved it!
Our favorite combo was the beet powder and Japanese curry and a pinch of salt.
Let the kids try different flavors let them be adventurous.
So have a great Valentines Day, try not to eat to much junk and tell someone you love them!


Homemade Rice Crackers
We used regular cream of rice cereal the kind you get in the cereal isle. Bob's Red Mill makes great Organic Brown Rice Farina which we use all the time for savory dishes. (That is a whole other post) You can use what ever you like, but for kids I think the smaller the grain the better the cracker. You can always process rice in a food processor to a fine grain if you don't have the cereal.



Ingredients:
1 1/2 C. Cream of rice, regular or 
Quick cooking* 

1 C. All-purpose flour 

2 tbs flax meal or 1 tbs seeds
1/4 c Sugar 

1/2 teaspoon Salt 

4 tbs (1/2 stick) butter or 
Margarine, ice cold 

2/3 C. Milk

Rice flour or all purpose flour for rolling out dough
Kosher salt
Topping ideas:
Beet root powder
celery salt
curry powder
cumin seed
paprika

Preheat the oven to 325~ F. 
In the food processor, combine the cream of rice, flour, flax, sugar, and salt. Drop in the butter until the mixture resembles a sandy texture. Slowly pour in the milk until a dough ball forms. 
If the dough is sticky knead it on a board with some rice flour. 
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions for rolling.
On a floured surface or pastry cloth, roll out to 1/8 inch thick. With cookie cutters cut shapes and transfer them to a parchment lined cookie sheet using a spatula.

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and flavorings of choice.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown. 

Cool on a rack. 

Yield: about 25 
strangely shaped crackers.

Mix it up: For a more adventurous flavored cracker, substitute cream of wheat or cream of rye cereals for the cream of rice.

Other ideas for cracker seasonings:
Parmesan cheese
Soy sauce
Pizza Spices blend
Italian Spice blend
Granulated onion
Fresh rosemary (incorporate into dough)
Cinnamon
Pumpkin pie spice
Smoked salt
Truffle Salt

* We used quick cooking to make sure that the crackers were as soft as possible. For a great array of spices check out Whole Spice Company
They have some of the best spices around, super fresh and fantastic blends too.

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6 comments:

Chocolate Shavings said...

I would say yes - sugar means love, especially when the end result looks so pretty!

diva said...

defo defo! sugar = love and sweetness and everything nice :) lovely rice crackers. i'm intrigued - never heard of beetroot powder but it must up the health value of these crackers by a lot! love the cookie cutters. they're really pretty!

chuck said...

Isn't sugar the spice of love? The crackers are so cute!

Sophie said...

This is so neat! I didn't know cream of rice could be used to make crackers, they look tasty and crispy :).

Rose said...

That's such a great idea! I stood in the Target aisle in front of all that candy and stuff and I just couldn't bring myself to buy them more candy knowing full well they were going to get a TON from their friends. So I was lame mom and we just handed out cards. Next year I'm thinking we might do these crackers!

Kara said...

I just made these using my daughter's baby rice cereal, and it worked fantastically! I wrote it up at my blog, Itty Bitty Bistro. I didn't take the time to make them as cute as yours, but they tasted great!