Tag Archives: snack

Homemade Gourmet Crackers with Cranberries

Servings: 40 pieces


1 cup milk (any fat % cow’s milk)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt (I used Greek)
1/2 cup plain flour (all purpose)
1/2 cup whole wheat / wholemeal flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit of choice)
1 tsp baking soda / bi-carb (or 3 tsp baking powder)
1/2 cup rolled oats (or 1/3 cup more nuts of choice)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or other seeds or nuts of choice)


1/2 tsp ground turmeric (can omit)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (or All Spice or 1/8 tsp cloves)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1/2 tsp more thyme)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 350F (all oven types). Grease and line a small loaf tin with baking paper (mine is 8.5 x 4.5 x 3”) (Note 1).

Whisk the milk, sugar and yoghurt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, add plain flour, wholemeal flour and cranberries. Stir – use fingers to break up cranberries if required.

Add remaining ingredients, including Spices, plus the milk mixture. It should be a thick batter, like muffin batter (note: batter in video looks slightly thicker because it was standing for a couple of minutes, doesn’t affect outcome).

Scrape/pour into tin. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Cool on rack, then wrap in cling wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours, up to 3 months. (Note 2)

Unwrap loaf and allow to thaw partially so the outside is not rock hard frozen (around 20 minutes).

Preheat oven to 250F (all oven types). Place one shelf in the middle, and another shelf beneath it.

Use a serrated bread knife to slice thinly – around 1/12” thick (see video). Place biscuits on 2 large baking trays, you can squeeze them in as they won’t expand or stick.

Bake for 50 minutes or until they are a light brown, swapping trays halfway.

Leave biscuits on tray to cool – they will harden so they snap when you break them. (Note 3)

Store in an airtight container for 4 weeks (probably ok for longer, I’ve only done 4 weeks). Brilliant served with creamy cheeses like brie, camembert, but soft, creamy blue cheeses is the ultimate pairing.

Recipe Notes

1. The size of the loaf tin determines the shape of the cracker. I like using a small one so you get more height to the loaf, so when it slices they are a nice rectangle shape.

The source recipe (see Note 3) suggests baking the batter in mason jars to make them round which looks terrific. My concern here was ensuring that the mason jar used is in fact oven proof, and because I don’t even know if mine are, I opted to stay away from this technique. You can actually get baking tubes the size of crackers. However, there are no hard and fast rules about what shape gourmet crackers should be and the rectangle shape of mine are good for snapping into 2 pieces so each piece becomes about the size of a round cracker, so I’m happy with these.

2. Freezing the loaf completely through to the middle makes it far easier to slice thinly.

I haven’t actually frozen mine for 3 months (I’ve done around 1 month) but I’ve researched into this based on the ingredients included and it seems that the nuts / fruit will / may start to lose flavour after around 3 months. If they aren’t fully crisp, pop them back in the oven and let them cool in the still hot, closed, turned off oven.

3. This recipe is adapted from this Copycat Trader Joes Pumpkin Cranberry Gourmet Crackers by The Café Sucrefarine, great blog run by a mature husband and wife team. That’s a nice way of saying they have many years of cooking experience, their recipes are reliable and they have great taste. The changes I made: I use milk instead of buttermilk because I honestly could not tell the difference, and I use yoghurt instead of 3 tbsp pumpkin puree because we don’t get canned pumpkin here and even if we did, I would prefer to avoid opening a can to just use 3 tbsp. Plus yoghurt combined with milk = great buttermilk sub. I also bake mine longer at a lower temp because I find it crisps the biscuits better without colouring them too much and ensuring the cranberries don’t burn.


Spinach Artichoke Dip 2

Serving 8 to 10


1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess moisture squeezed out
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, divided
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, chopped artichokes, spinach,1 1/4 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, 1 1/4 cups of Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, heavy cream, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and stir well to combine.

Spoon the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Monterey Jack and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheeses on top. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. Serve warm with tortilla or pita chips, crackers, vegetables, or in a bread bowl. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes:

The dip can be assembled a day in advance, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking.

You can double the recipe and bake in a 9×13-inch dish or other 3-quart baking dish.

To make in a slow cooker, assemble exactly as directed above, cook on low for 2 hours, then stir together and serve.

You can replace the mayonnaise and sour cream with Greek yogurt.

Cinnamon Rolls


1/3 C. cornmeal (yellow)
1/2 C. sugar
2 t. salt
1/2 C. shortening (part butter)
2 C. milk

Heat the above ingredients on low heat, stirring constantly until thick. Cool.

2 eggs
4 C. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 pkg. yeast (dissolve in 1/4 C. warm water with 1 t. sugar)


Sift flour and baking powder together. Combine eggs with first ingredients and slowly add flour/baking powder mixture one cup at a time. Mix thoroughly until no longer sticky. Let rise 1 hour. Punch down and let rise another hour.

For bread: Put in pans and let rise one hour again. Bake bread at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. (Three rises total for bread or rolls. The reason is so the bread has less air bubbles and a smoother texture).

Roll part of dough 1/2 inch thick (after 2nd rising). Dot with butter and sprinkle on cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up and cut into 3/4-1 inch slices and put in pans that have been buttered and sprinkled with more brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle bottom of pan with a little water (not much). Put rolls in pan, leaving a little space between them. Let rise 1 hour.(This is your 3rd rising) Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Can add pecans to top or before rolling up. Frost with powdered sugar frosting that has a drop or two of maple flavoring added and a little vanilla extract.

Can make dinner rolls or loaf of bread from the remaining dough.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

12-16 cookies


1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (less for high altitude)
3/4 cup chocolate chunks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add in peanut butter and mix for 1-2 minutes.

Add in egg and vanilla. Mix until combined and clump free.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter in two parts with the stand mixer on the lowest speed. Mix for a little less than a minute. Do not over mix.

Fold in chocolate chunks.

Portion dough into 12-16 cookies depending on how big you want them.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown and firm on the edges.

Remove from the oven and let set for 3-4 minutes.

Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Note: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days or can be frozen for up to 3-4 months.

Cheesy Mini Potato Gratin Stacks

Servings: 12


Oil spray
2 lb potatoes, large long ones (Note 1)
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup cream, heavy / thickened (Note 4)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper
1 cup grated melting cheese (cheddar, gruyere, swiss, mozzarella)
Fresh thyme leaves for garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray a standard 12 hole muffin tin with oil.

Peel potatoes. Stand upright then cut into cylinder shapes, then slice potatoes into thin slices around 1/10″ thick.

Place butter, garlic, cream, salt, pepper and dried thyme in a microwave proof cup or bowl, then melt in 30 second bursts.

Stir, then set aside.

Place potato slices into the muffin tin so they go halfway up the muffin tin holes. Try to match by size to make them into neat stacks.

Drizzle each potato stack with 1/2 tsp of cream mixture.

Sprinkle HALF the cheese over the potato stacks.

Top with remaining potato slices. Drizzle with remaining cream mixture and remaining thyme.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake without foil for 10 minutes or until golden and the potato is soft.

Let stand for 5 minutes before removing. Use a tablespoon or butter knife to help scope them out. (Note 3)

To Serve

Breakfast – serve with eggs and bacon.
Dinner – serve as a side.
Finger food – serve warm as is.

Recipe Notes

1. You need to use starchy potatoes as they breakdown when cooked, becoming nice and fluffy on the inside and golden and crunchy on the outside. The best to use are Russet (common in the US), Dutch creams, King Edwards or red delight. However, great all rounders like golden delight, coliban, red rascal and Sebago (popular in Australia – the dirt brushed ones) still works great.

Get long large ones that are suitable to cut into cylinder shapes.

2. Fantastic for making ahead. Bake per recipe then either freeze them (defrost before reheating) or keep them in the refrigerator. Them pop them in a 350F oven for 10 minutes just to heat through.

3. Spraying the muffin tin + the butter and cream helps keep the gratin stacks from sticking to the muffin tin. Also, the muffin tin I use is non stick. If your muffin tin is not non stick, spray it generously with oil before putting the potato in to ensure it slips out easily. Because starchy potatoes are used for this recipe, they breakdown and become soft so they sort of bond together which helps keep these stacks upright. Some might slide slightly when you take them out but the resting time helps “set” them.

4. Any pourable cream is fine though thickened / heavy cream will yield creamiest result because they have a higher fat content.


Six Minute Caramels

This would be great for making caramel apples


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk


Combine all ingredients in heavy sauce pan.

Cook 6 minutes oven medium heat, stirring every two minutes.

Stir and pour into lightly greased dish.

Let cool.

Cut, wrap in wax paper & store in an air tight container

Pumpkin pie roll ups


1 loaf white bread
1 can pumpkin pie filling
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice


Prepare bread by slicing off the crusts and roll each of them flat with a rolling pin.

Spread a line of cream cheese across the bread, then spread a line of pumpkin pie filling on top.

Roll the bread up into little tubes, setting aside until all bread has been filled and rolled.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract until well-combined. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.

Set a large pan over medium heat, then melt enough butter to coat the pan. Working quickly, dunk each roll up in the egg mixture, then place seam side-down into the melted butter in the pan. Work in batches, turning the roll ups as needed, until all sides are golden brown.

Once roll ups are finished cooking, roll them quickly into the cinnamon mixture.

Serve warm.