Nut, Sesame, and Cheese Crackers

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One of the most difficult things about having kids with CSID is snack-time. Seriously—ever since Jayson learned what crackers were, all he wanted to eat were crackers. So when we found out he couldn't have them we were kinda devastated. What the heck were we supposed to give this kid for a snack? He loves raisins, but they have a lot of fiber in them and kinda made him go more than we liked. He likes cheese sticks, but only sometimes, when he asks for them. Grapes are too sour for his taste right now, and most other snacky foods have either too much sugar or too much starch.

I had spent a lot of time thinking about how to make him something he would like, when I stumbled upon a recipe for low-carb crackers and decided to give them a whirl. I was expecting something really tough and flavorless, but these taste amazing.

Once Jayson got over his fear of the loud evil food processor and realized what I was doing, we were subjected to cries of, "Cacker! Racker! Carcker!" and other such variations that only an almost two-year-old can come up with.

This continued until they came out of the oven when his persistent requests transmogrified into full-blown demands for crackers. In short, these are really delicious, and are a great snack for people with CSID, but also for anyone else who is trying to live a low carb diet.

Skip the tutorial and go straight to the recipe.

Step 0:

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Step 1:


Dump 6 ounces of tree nuts (almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, etc) and 1/4 cup sesame seeds into the work bowl of your favorite food processor. I like using almonds and macadamia nuts, but that's because it's what I have around. Turn the machine on and process until the nuts are a fine powder, but don't go too long or your will release too many oils from the nuts.

You can really use any nuts you want for these crackers, but try to stay away from peanuts—they are just a little too oily for this application.

Step 2:


To the ingredients already in the work bowl add 1 large egg white, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, 4 ounces of shredded/grated cheese, and any other herbs or spices that fit your fancy. Process until all the ingredients come together to form a "dough." Depending on your machine, you may need to help it out a little, or finish mixing the ingredients by hand.

A couple notes on this step. First, you can use whichever mustard you like, even tangy yellow mustard. I simply prefer the flavor of Dijon—I think it plays well with other flavors and doesn't try to bully them into submission. Second, at least half of the cheese you add here should be a good, hard cheese like Parmesan or Romano. The other half isn't quite as important, and most of the time I actually end up using all Parmesan because I like the flavor. Just try to keep away from really stinky cheeses or super fatty cheeses. Remember, the goal here is to have all the flavors play nicely so the finished cracker is balanced.

Step 3:


Dump the cracker dough onto a large piece of parchment paper and roll it out to a uniform thickness of between 1/16" and 1/8".
You may want to do this in a couple of batches,unless you have a really big piece of parchment and really long rolling pin. Just cover the dough with a piece of plastic wrap or wet towel while it is waiting to be rolled out. I like my crackers really snappy, so I prefer them on the thinner side, but this is really all according to preference.

Step 4:


Cut out shapes using a sharp knife, pastry/pizza roller, or appropriately sized cookie cutter—mine is about 1-1/4". Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.
These are a really low moisture food, and the moisture content determines the final snappiness of your crackers. Also, if your crackers are a little on the thick side bake them closer to the 18 minutes side. Thinner crackers can obviously bake for closer to 16 minutes. Keep an eye on them and find out what your preference is.

"Step" 5:

Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for probably up to 2 weeks. To be honest I've never had them last that long, but I imagine they will be good at least 2 weeks.

Nut, Sesame, and Cheese Crackers:  Yields 10 dozen crackers
6 ounces tree nuts—almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc
1/4 cup sesame seeds
4 oz shredded cheese—at least 2 oz should be Parmesan
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg white
1/4 tsp salt
Optional Ingredients:

Garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, basil, cinnamon, etc


Preheat oven to 325°F. Dump nuts and sesame seeds in the bowl of a food processor and process until the nuts are a fine powder. Add the cheese, mustard, egg white, and salt and process until everything comes together to form a dough. Dump out onto a piece of parchment paper and roll to a uniform thickness between 1/16th and 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using either a sharp knife, pastry/pizza roller, or appropriately sized cookie cutter. Transfer to a parchment lined sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes, depending on how dark and crispy you want your crackers.

2 comments :

  1. Love the setup of your blog, and am mad for your low carb bread! I have a question for the crackers - if we are grinding the nuts, could we use almond flour? Is it a question of cost? Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hi Donna,
      I'm glad to know you love the bread recipe.
      As far as the nuts go, you should use almond flour if you have it, especially if it is a matter of cost. When I first started making this recipe I used whole nuts because I had them, but now I would probably also use the nut flours.

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