Today I want to share something that I made for my son’s birthday party and that turned out to be a big hit. Homemade goldfish crackers! Truth be told, I have never been a great lover of classic goldfish crackers, but it occurred to me that they would be a really fun food to recreate with nothing but good, simple ingredients. It does require one accessory, however, and that is a small goldfish cookie cutter or some other kind of small cookie cutter. For my first attempt, I tried to be all crafty and make one from a cut soda can (per instructions I found online) but I really advise against this as I found it maddening and unsatisfactory, not to mention dangerous. Thankfully, my mom found a set of copper goldfish-shaped cookie cutters online and sent them to me, perhaps primarily so she could stop worrying about me severing a finger in the (albeit noble) pursuit of a suitable homemade goldfish cracker.
This recipe is very adaptable as well, and I can think of several variations that would be great. For one, you could use any cheese you like, although I would always include at least some of a sharp cheese. Instead of cheddar, you could use parmesan, gruyère, or Old Amsterdam, for example. Then, you could change things up with spices. Chipotle is wonderful with cheddar, and I’m sure garlic powder and black pepper would also be great additions to any batch of these.
Here’s the basic recipe, which I based on one by Amy Johnson at Tasty Kitchen:
- 8 ounces of cheese, shredded (cheddar, parmesan, gouda, etc., or a blend)
- 4 T chilled butter, cut in cubes
- 1 cup ‘white’ whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 T water (a bit less if you’re using white flour)
- 1/2 tsp or to taste of chipotle, paprika, garlic or black pepper (optional)
Put everything except water in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the consistency of wet sand. Add water and blend until a dough forms.
Place the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F. When chilled, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch and cut into shapes. Feel free to only roll out as much dough as you think will be consumed within a day or two. The rest can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days or the freezer for longer. Line goldfish up on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.
I love the little rows of goldfish lined up like soldiers. And they really are delicious little treats!