If you're from Vancouver, you most likely know the deliciousness that is Raincoast Crisps. They are perhaps the most "crisp" cracker I've ever had - I don't think I can hear anyone talking while I'm chewing them. I love to eat them with Yancy's Fancy Bergenost, a creamy cheese that Costco sometimes carries, but any cheese will do.
Many of my friends hail them as the best cracker they've ever had. Apparently they've been featured by Martha Stewart's magazine and made it on Oprah's O list, so yes, they are that good. They usually run something to the tune of $7-8 for a small box, and I've seen them sold here in the US at Whole Foods. Trader Joe's has a similar, more affordable version, if you want to give it a try, and I've even seen them come out with a seasonal pumpkin one too. I've bought great knock offs at the Costco in British Columbia, and you can get a fairly large tray with three different flavor selections for that $8 mark. Once I was traveling across the border after a wedding, and I had thrown my sticky strapless bra, the "Diva Cup," in the trunk to air out on top of my suitcase before we left. The border guard asked us to pop the trunk, and he came back and asked where I got the Diva Delights. I was more than a little surprised to have him referencing my bra in such a strange way, and I asked, "My bra?" He restated his question, and I responded again, "My bra?" Then he asked about some crackers. When I got home I opened the trunk and realized the box of crackers from Costco was clearly labeled "Diva Delights."
I've had a recipe printed out for years and have never tried it. A friend of mine recently made some and said it was super easy -- just several steps -- so I thought I'd finally give it a try. Now, years later, there are many different variations of the recipe floating around the internet. I settled on one that involved whole wheat flour, and then had to do a double take and cross reference a couple other recipes to confirm that it really didn't call for eggs, oil, or butter. The fact that it's eggless makes it a fantastic anytime recipe for me, whose egg-in-the-house status is always questionable. Oh how many times I've started making cookies only to realize there were no eggs in the fridge, and I leave the batter on the counter as I rush off to buy eggs. It's an equally fantastic recipe for toddlers to help out with because they can lick their fingers all they want with no fears of salmonella! It smells as appetizing as paper mache paste, though.
The great thing about them is making the batter and getting it in the oven is super quick, and then the rest of the process is very broken up and so it gives you time to tend to a baby or toddler. Here's a photo of Winter chillin' in the kitchen while I made the batter. It was a couple hours later that I got around to cooling the loaf on the rack, and then after dinner by the time I put it in the freezer. When my husband came home I was able to cut it into slices and finish baking it.
The batter will be super runny, like crepe batter, but not to fear! I ran outside to go get some fresh rosemary but discovered my bush did not survive the winter. I used fennel seeds, and when I tasted the loaf before I baked the slices it was very overpowering, but once I baked them into slices it was more tolerable. It would be nice to make four different loaves with different nuts and fruits. I made mine with fennel, pistachios, apricots, and chia seeds.
Recipe: Raincoast Crisps
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups milk + 2 Tbsp vinegar (or just buttermilk)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup uncooked pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup uncooked sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds or black sesame seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup millet (optional)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds or ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup poppyseeds (optional)
- 1 cup dried fruit (e.g., figs, cranberries, raisins, cherries, apricots etc.)
- 1/2 to 1 cup chopped uncooked nuts (e.g., pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine milk and vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Grease 4 mini-loaf pans or 1 8x4 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda and salt.
- Mix in the seeds and add ins.
- Stir in the milk, honey and sugar until well incorporated.
- Bake for 30 minutes in mini loaf pans or 1 hour in a large loaf pan. Loaves should be golden brown and a wooden skewer should be able to come out dry.
- Let cool 10 minutes before removing to cool complete on a wire rack.
- Freeze loaves for 30 minutes to 1 hour to help with slicing.
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Using a bread knife or serrated knife, slice loaf as thinly as possible. Thicker slices will turn out chewy, thinner slices will be crisp.
- Place slices on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake another 15 minutes or until crackers are golden brown and crisp.
- Let cool and store in an airtight container.