On long and hot summer days, a big meal is often the last thing I want. But tasty and easy snacks are a welcome way to feed yourself, your friends and family without much fuss or fight but plenty of fun. Call it nibbles or snacks or appetizers, more and more frequently, people are putting out sensational and sophisticated spreads that are substantial enough to be a meal.
That’s the beauty of Spanish tapas. Small bites that satiate and are worthy of making a meal out of. While the tradition of tapas had its own purpose, today’s well-curated appetizer and snack bars are equally artistic and as light or as hearty as you wish.
Think a wild assortment of creamy, hard, soft and stinky cheeses, a rainbow of raw and blanched vegetables, charcuterie, colorful fresh fruits, dried fruits, salty nuts, olives, pickles and other fermented favorites. Interspersed throughout the display are also dips and a variety of crackers. Take what you want, ignore what you don’t. It’s an incredibly easy way to graze the night away.
Let’s Talk Crackers
While I dig this way of eating, it’s the crackers that generally disappoint and don’t live up to the beauty and appeal of this snacktasticly sensational spread. Generally, the crackers are not gluten-free or they are terribly bland, dry or stale. That’s where these easy-to-make, gluten-free crackers come in.
This simple recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, Love & Lemons, and their recently released second cookbook.
These crackers come together before your cheese comes to room temperature. With only a few ingredients, these bite-sized crisps are packed with flavor and can be the showstopper for your next gathering. They are vegan and will disappear until you make another batch. It can easily and should be doubled for groups and bigger gatherings.
I mean, don’t you agree that the gluten-free, store-bought crackers never make you happy? They fail to impress no matter the brand.
This is why I have been striving to find the best cracker recipe for so many years (recipe 1, recipe 2). Luckily, I don’t give up and, now, I can confidently instruct you to throw all of the other cracker recipes away because this one hits every note. These toasted sesame crackers are gorgeous and golden delicious. They make summer snacking a breeze and something you and your friends and family will want a lot more of.
Toasted Sesame Brown Rice Crackers
These crackers are so easy to make and a world above the boxed crackers, it will make you wonder how many bad crackers you have suffered through before landing on these perfect crisps. Gluten-free, vegan and absolutely delicious for an even bigger win.
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup white sesame seeds plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/3 cup water, plus 2 teaspoons, if needed adding 1 teaspoon at a time
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 pinches Maldon salt sprinkle on top before baking
In a medium bowl, combine the brown rice flour, almond meal, black and white sesame seeds, ground flaxseed, baking powder and salt.
Stir to blend.
Add the sesame oil and water and stir again thoroughly.
The mixture will come together when you use your hands, so get a hand in there and work it.
If the dough is a little crumbly, add another teaspoon of water or two until it all comes together. Dump it on a large sheet of parchment paper and begin to knead the dough.
Bring it together into the shape of a disc. Now you will need to roll the dough out on a flat surface.
Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and gently push the dough out to form an oval or whatever shape it takes. You want it to be 1/8" thick. If the edges start to tear, either use your fingers to gently press them back together or leave it jagged for an even more rustic look.
When the crackers are rolled out, remove the parchment paper on top and use a sharp knife to score the crackers into 2" squares. This will allow them to break easily once they are cooked. Alternatively, you can let it bake and break the crackers up with your hands for a more artisanal look.
The crackers will cool between 25-40 minutes, depending on the thickness and the altitude where you are baking.
When golden, remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes. Break the crackers apart and enjoy with your favorite dips, hummus, cheese or whatever else makes you happy.
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