Snackraments: Raincoast Crisps

For those not in the know, Leslie Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps are delicious crackers that cost an arm and a leg for a meager 6 ounces of product at Whole Foods.  Luckily, this recipe comes pretty close to duplicating this rather unique cracker, and it makes for an amazing Snackrament.  In the first place, these Crisps are full of whole foods that are great energy boosters:  whole wheat, honey, flax seed, sesame seeds, pepitas, herbs, dried fruits…it’s a manageable power bump in cracker form.  In the second, it’s time-efficient: the batter comes together in a flash, bakes in just 35 minutes or so, and the second bake is just maybe 25 minutes.  The third place?  These are so delicious, they are downright addictive

Best of all, the loaves store wonderfully in the freezer, and it’s easiest to slice these loves thinly when they’re frozen.  If you’ve got one in your freezer, you’re 25 minutes (and practically no mess!) away from having a great offering to share with your gods.  I often eat them plain (they’re just that good!), but I’ve also arranged them on a snack platter with various cheeses and cheese spreads, savory jellies, grapes and other fruits, garlic-free hummus, and spiced nuts.

And did I mention that the complexity of these crackers means they pair fantastically with just about any wine. No?  Well, try it yourself!

A Rosemary Raisin Pecan crisp with a slice of Gruyere cheese and a dollop of red pepper jelly

Basic Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour (can replace up to 1 cup with whole-wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (if you find them not salty enough for your taste, increase up to 1 tsp.)
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seed

For Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps Add:
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

For Cranberry Hazelnut Crisps Add:
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 tsp. fresh, chopped thyme

For Salty Date and Almond Crisps Add:
1 cup dried, pitted dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, sprinkled on top of loaf before baking

For Fig and Walnut Crisps Add:
1 cup dried figs, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (roasted, if you like)
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8×4-inch loaf pans or several mini loaf pans, for a smaller crisp.
  2. Measure out fruit and seeds and chop nuts and any herbs and set aside. If you are using raisins, you can plump them if you like by soaking in boiling water for 10 minutes and then draining before adding to recipe)
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes. Add the pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and flax seed. Add your fruit and nuts as per the recipe specifications above. Add any herbs as specified. Stir just until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into two greased 8 x 4” loaf pans (or several mini loaf pans). *If making Salty Date and Almond, sprinkle salt on top of loaves before baking.
  5. Bake for about 35 minutes (less for mini loaves), until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.
  6. Once loaves have cooled, wrap or place in a freezer bag and put in freezer for at least several hours (to make them easier to slice thin). When ready to bake, remove from freezer. Slice the frozen loaves as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Preheat oven to 300°F. and bake them for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden. Remove to a cooling rack to cool and crisp up.
  8. Recipe makes about 8 dozen crackers.  If the crisps soften in storage, they can be re-crisped by popping them in a 325°F oven for 4-6 minutes.

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