Monday, October 15, 2012

Fruit and Nut Crisps - October SRC

This is my first month participating in The Secret Recipe Club. I was  assigned Katie’s blog, Betchacanteatjustone, to browse through and choose any recipe that appealed to me to make or bake and blog about. Other Group B SRC  participants will post their recipe on the same designated reveal date. Now how fun is that?!

The choice was difficult with so many tempting recipes competing for attention. Savory or sweet? Over-the-top decadent or practical? Quick and easy preparation or complicated? It took the enticing photo of a loaded cheese board displayed in a recent Dean and Deluca e-mail ad to make the decision for me: Katie’s Fruit and Nut Crisps were it for October. 

The cooking technique was similar to biscotti; bake a loaf, thinly slice and rebake to crisp up individual slices. Use the ingredient list as a set of possibilities and substitute other dried fruits, nuts and seeds according to personal preference and pantry supplies.

These crisps were delicious unadorned, but were truly sublime when topped with a creamy ginger apricot Stilton cheese and drizzled with honey… or a paper-thin slice of pear, a bit of chutney and crumble of brie… or manchego and fig jam… or... you get the idea.

This recipe makes two standard size loaves, about 80-90 crisps, but you don’t have to bake them off all at once. I popped one cooled loaf into the freezer to hold until we entertained the following week, and the results were just as tasty. It was actually easier to slice a frozen loaf than a non-frozen one! The husband enjoyed the crisps at breakfast, I loved them mid-morning with a cuppa, guests have enjoyed them as pre-dinner appetizers as well as cheese plate accompaniments, and someone nibbles a few late-night when no one is looking. Guess who. 

Thanks for the recipe, Katie. We love your sweet and savory crackers and I get to feel smug about not spending $7 to $10 dollars for one small package of prepared crisps at the store.

  Fruit and Nut Crisps
Makes approx 8 dozen: my notes in color 

         2 cups AP flour (or other flour mixes of your choice) 
         3 tsp baking soda
         1/2 tsp salt
         2 cups buttermilk (2 cups 2% milk & 2 TBS vinegar)
         1/2 cup raw cane sugar (1/4 cup brown sugar & 1/4 cup honey)
         1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
         1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
         1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I forgot to add any nuts!)
         1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
         1/4 cup sunflower seeds
         1 tbsp sesame seeds (white, toasted)
         1/4 cup ground flax seed
         1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Prepare two 8″X4″ loaf pans by spraying with non stick spray or lining with parchment paper. (I did both for ease of removal, see photo above)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Add the buttermilk (mix in the honey here if you’re using it). Stir together by hand. Add the fruits, nuts, seeds and rosemary: stir until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until the loaves are golden brown and spring back when you gently touch the center.  Remove the pans from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto wire racks to cool completely.
Once cool, wrap up the loaves and freeze them until they’re hard.  This will make them MUCH easier to slice. (YES, you really do slice them while frozen.)
Heat the oven to 300 degrees and spray or line cookie sheets.
Slice the loaves as thin as you can (you should be able to get about 7-8 dozen crisps!) and place each piece on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes and then flip crisps over and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the crackers have dried out and turned a medium-dark brown and crispy (but not burnt). (Bake the slices on a baking rack and you can skip the flipping; they will crisp up on both sides.)
Katie notes: I found it helpful to leave the pans in the oven with the door cracked open slightly to cool off once they were finished baking with the oven turned off  just to ensure they had dried out 100%
Store in an airtight container.

Now, check out more October posts from other Secret Recipe Club members. (Use the link below)


  1. I lOVE that you chose to make this recipe! They are really so simple to make and so delicious! I should actually bake up some loaves to leave in the freezer for unexpected company :)

    I will be back for some more of your dinner recipes to try :)

    1. Thanks for the kind words AND the recipe. I already have a few more loaves in the freezer, trying out new fruit and nut combos.

  2. This is a recipe that I will just love and can't wait to make it. Great selection for the SRC.
    Miz Helen

  3. kudos to both of you, this is such a great idea! thanks for welcoming me to SRC!

  4. I love seeing expensive stuff in the fancy stores and thinking--I can make it at home cheaper and make it better!

    1. ...and it's fun to experiment with ingredients to try to duplicate the recipes.

  5. Oh my gosh, what a great choice - I have never made crisps this way, but reading your post, it seems so simple and smart - I can't wait to give it a try!! Awesome!

    1. Yes, it really IS a simple process, simple AND tasty.


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