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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apple-Cinnamon Sticks & A Cookbook Giveaway

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We are a cracker-loving family, Ryan especially. It is not unusual to find us blowing off dinner from time to time in favor of cheese and crackers. I'll never give up on some of my favorite store-bought crackers, but I do like to make homemade crackers when I have some extra time to spend in the kitchen. I've made cheddar and sage, basil parmesan, and sea salt and poppyseed, all with great success. This time I went the sweeter route, taking advantage of some of fall's favorite ingredients: apples and cinnamon.
These crackers were unique, completely different from the more savory versions I've tried. They are only lightly sweet, with a subtle apple flavor, and a bit of heartiness from the ground flax seed (the original recipe calls for wheat germ). I opted to cut mine out with a sunglasses cookie cutter, but you could use whatever shape you'd like. The dough took a little playing with (and I added extra oil than the original recipe, my version below) to get it to stick together, but once baked, the crackers held together and had just enough crunch. [Note-they got softer as they sat in an air-tight container] My little sister Renatta bit into one and said, "These taste just like Grandma's apple pie!". I don't know that I'd go quite far, but I think that statement proves they were a hit!
The recipe comes from the Weelicious cookbook, which was recently sent to me to review. The book is primarily targeted for families, with the first third of the book featuring tips on how to get your kids to eat and how to cook healthily and inexpensively. The remainder of the book is recipes, from baby food purees to dinners to snack recipes like these crackers. Although our family is without any wee ones right now, I am so excited to add this cookbook to my collection. I loved how easy the recipes were to follow and I already have several on my list to make, including ricotta veggie dip, turkey pesto meatballs, and the pb & j oatmeal thumbprint cookies. (Want to win your own copy of the cookbook? Keep reading!) 
(image from Amazon)
To win your own copy of Weelicious, leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite kind of cracker. I'll accept entries until Saturday, October 6th (7 pm Central) and will announce the winner in Sunday's post!

One Year Ago: Apple Raisin Bars
Two Years Ago: Shredded Beef Sandwiches
Three Years Ago: Homemade Sushi

Apple Cinnamon Sticks
slightly adapted from the Weelicious cookbook

-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-2 tbsp packed brown sugar
-2 tbsp flax seed (could sub wheat germ)
-3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 cup peeled grated apple (1 small apple)
-3 tbsp canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, wheat germ, and cinnamon. Add the grated apple and toss with your hands to coat with the flour mixture.
3. Add the oil and mix with your hands until a smooth dough forms (will take 2-3 minutes).
4. Shape the dough into a flat disk and allow to rest for a few minutes. Roll out to a 1/2 inch thickness on parchment paper or a clean dry service. Cut into small sticks with a knife, or use a cookie cutter. Place the sticks/shapes on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
5. Cool and serve. Crackers will keep for 3-4 days covered at room temperature.