Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spicy Pepper-Jack Crackers - A Delicious Grain-Free Snack

This afternoon I made a batch of crackers so I could use them to eat as a snack, with cheese or dipped in my Holy Moly Guacamole. I made Spicy Pecan Pepper-Jack Crackers. These crackers have a higher ratio of pecan meal to almond flour which gives them a slightly "grainier" quality as well as a dark "whole wheat" cracker look. I added some chia seeds to give them a little bit of crunch. I used a simple hand dough blender to cut Monterey pepper-jack cheese into the dry ingredients. If you don't like spicy things, you could swap some nice sharp cheddar, or your favorite cheese in its place. To give it an extra kick, add a bit of sriracha or if you have it, a couple teaspoons of spicy chili infused olive oil. Adding the pecans to the cracker mixture produces a darker cracker so don't think that these are burned because they are dark. The dough itself was dark before being baked. Notice how the little bits of cheese got browned and golden in the crackers (in the photos below). These are tasty to eat "as is" and were really good when hubby and I enjoyed them with some sliced cheese and fresh berries for our late afternoon snack today. One of my favorite little snacks is putting a little smear of cream cheese on crackers -- especially crackers that taste good (like these) because it doesn't overpower their taste. My big breakfast this morning kept me going until around 4:00 when I felt like I wanted a little snack since I rarely eat lunch on the weekends. It was nice having crackers available to pull out. I don't have to cook dinner this evening since I have plenty of leftover Chicago Style Deep Dish Skillet Pizza from last night (I was only able to eat one piece). I snapped a few photos and included the easy recipe below. Enjoy!

Spicy Pecan Pepper-Jack Crackers
Makes approximately 4 dozen crackers


·        3/4 cup almond flour
·        1 cup pecan meal
·        1/4 teaspoon onion powder
·        1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
·        1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
·        1/4 teaspoon sea salt
·        1/2 cup shredded Monterey pepper-jack cheese
·        1 - 2 teaspoons chia seeds
·        1 large egg
·        1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
·        1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce, or to taste, optional
·        Sea salt, to taste, optional (for sprinkling on top of crackers)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together. Add cheese. Use a pastry/dough blender to cut the cheese into the dry mixture until cheese is the size of very small pebbles (you could also pulse briefly in a food processor). Stir in chia seeds.

In a separate small bowl, whisk egg, olive oil, and sriracha until combined; pour into dry mixture. Combine mixture using a rubber spatula into a stiff dense dough; knead a couple times in the bowl with the heel of your hand to thoroughly combine and moisten ingredients; shape into a ball.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the size of your baking pan; place parchment on counter or work space. Place dough in center and press down evenly with your hands to about 1-inch thick. Place another sheet of parchment on top of dough. Roll dough out between parchment paper until about 1/8-inch thick. Remove top sheet of parchment; transfer bottom parchment to baking pan. If desired, lightly sprinkle additional sea salt on top of dough. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutting wheel, cut into 1-inch squares, or desired size.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until light golden brown, checking frequently. If crackers on outer edge begin browning more quickly, carefully remove those and transfer to a plate or rack. When crackers are done, remove from oven and leave on parchment paper until cool. Separate crackers and enjoy. Store cooled crackers in an air tight container.

*Note – If crispier crackers are desired, after separating baked crackers, return to a 300 degree oven for about 5 to 7 minutes until crisp. 


Anonymous said...

You are awesome! - Neha

905lovestostamp said...

You are one AMAZING wheat-free/grain-free chef!!! How grateful am I, that as I am "back in the saddle" eating this way again, that THIS time I'll be able to try all of your unbelievable recipes, GG!!! I cannot thank you enough!!! When I tried this way of eating for a year, Wheat Belly had just been published and there were NO cookbooks out there, and recipes were tough to come by. Now there are some, but no one can touch your recipes. I'm really thinking that with recipes like these that I can actually maintain eating this way, AND enjoy it. Living on a disability, I do worry about being able to afford it, but I'm willing to give it a good old college try!!! Hoping it will eventually help with my chronic pain. The first year, I just gave up all bread, not the answer long-term--but your recipes make me really get excited. I'm hoping to try one this weekend. :) You really make my day when I see a blog update from you in my e-mail inbox, I can't wait to see what you've created.

Best wishes, Joanne Lowe

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thank you, Neha! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Joanne! Wow, it's comments like yours that make every single moment I spend doing this worthwhile and I sincerely mean that. While I would be cooking every day anyway, it is quite time consuming to write down everything on paper as I create and make it, type it up, photograph it, etc. But I really do enjoy it -- I'm not a big TV person, mainly because I don't find much on that I care to watch. I used to be a "cooking show junkie"...but so many of what is one the food channels these days are competitions and shows like "restaurant impossible" where the guy yells and screams all the time. None of those shows really teach people cooking techniques or inspire anyone to cook. There are a few real cooking shows left, but they are few and far between it seems.

I am SO glad that you are back on the saddle again. If you are cooking for one, I would think you would at least get 4 days or so of meals each time you prepare most recipes or you could simply halve them. I purposely cook extra servings because then I just reheat for lunch and I believe it cheaper than eating frozen dinners (yuck) or eating out.

Do you belong to a Costco or Sam's Club at all? I think the 2 most expensive ingredients I use are primarily for baking (almond flour and sweetener). If you baked a batch of biscuits, for example, you would get 10 or 12 which would last you a while (you can freeze what you don't use in 3 or 4 days).

I am glad you enjoy my blog and if it helps inspire only you, it's worth it! I do hope you will achieve relief from your chronic pain completely or reduce it dramatically. Thanks again for your kind comment. I am rooting for you all the way!!! :-)

CyberSis said...


These crackers look fabulous! They are next up on my "hit list." As for the "5 Counties" cheese, I've seen it plenty of times at Costco and had planned to get some last week ... but alas, they were out of it! Hmm, hope they're not going to be out of it permanently!

Oh, I have a Costco "find" for you ... "Eat Smart" Sweet Kale bagged salad. Besides the kale it has broccoli, cabbage, chicory, a few dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds ... and ... some thinly sliced Brussels sprouts! It comes with a couple of small bags of poppyseed dressing, which I didn't use. But the salad itself was *very* tasty with a nice crunch. I'd get it again!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! Thanks. I hope you enjoy them. I've also seen the "5 Counties" cheese at Sam's Club, so if you belong to that you could check there, too. In the last year or so our Sam's carries lots of interesting looking imported cheeses. I will look for the bagged salad mix -- it sounds like a really nice mix and right up my alley! Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever had a raw Brussels sprout before. I hope our Costco carries it. I will look. Thanks for the tip! :-)