Quinoa Salt-and-Pepper Crackers with Almond Cheese
The almond cheese is easy to make and tastes like a real indulgence. I developed it to serve with the quinoa crackers, but it also makes a satisfying sandwich spread. If you are pinched for time, of course you can serve this cheese with store-bought gluten-free crackers; however, homemade crackers will make your guests feel special. These quinoa crackers make a satisfying and beautiful prelude to a holiday gathering.
Total Timea day or more
OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party, game day
Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, snack
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, crisp, salty
Type of Dishdip/spread
- 1½ cups quinoa flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water for 10 hours, then drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnish
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
To make the crackers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and lightly dust your work surface and a baking sheet with quinoa flour.
Combine all the cracker ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix thoroughly on low speed. Remove the dough and roll it out on your floured work surface, turning the dough and sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. When the dough is about 1/8 inch thick, cut it into shapes using a cookie cutter or the top of a juice glass. You could instead cut the dough into squares or rectangles using a knife, pizza wheel, or fluted dough wheel.
With a spatula, transfer the crackers to the baking sheet, prick each with a fork, and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper. (Alternatively, you could make one large cracker by pressing the dough into a 12-inch tart pan, pricking all over with a fork, and sprinkling with additional salt and pepper.) Bake for 20 minutes. If making one cracker, score it into wedges right when it comes out of the oven. Let the crackers cool for 1 hour before storing on a covered plate or in a cookie tin.
To make the cheese, combine all the ingredients except for the pepper in a food processor. Process until the cheese has attained a smooth, creamy texture. Season to taste with the pepper and additional salt. Place the cheese into a mold or bowl and chill until ready to serve. Turn cheese out onto a serving plate and garnish with fresh thyme. (Alternatively, you can form the cheese into individual balls and place one on each quinoa cracker wedge, garnished with fresh thyme.)
2011 Jennifer Katzinger