Dear Raincoast Crisps,

You are my new favorite snack.  I can’t seem to quit you, which is unfortunate as you’re considered gourmet / artisanal / something that means you comes with a high price tag.

I like you just the way you are, but you really shine when paired with cheese.  You’re crisp and chewy, sweet and salty, all at the same time.  Are you suffering from an identity crisis or just trying to appeal to all my senses at once?  If the latter, kudos, it’s working.

I admire how you’re not afraid to let your true colors shine through.  You’re so real, with your nuts, grains and dried fruit.  When I look at you, I can see exactly what you’re made of, and I like that.

Please know that I will always love you, but I think we would be better off as just friends.  It’s not you, it’s me.  Really.

XO, Melanie

PS. This won’t make meeting at the occasional party somewhat awkward, will it?

So yeah.  In case it wasn’t really obvious, I really like these crackers.  Unfortunately, it’s price tag makes it hard to justify as a regular purchase so I researched online and found a substitute recipe.  It’s a little more work but it yields me a small mountain of these crackers for about the same price.

Let’s make some crackers, shall we?

The recipe can be summarized as such:  mix ingredients (in one bowl, weeee!), pour into loaf pan, bake, cool, slice, bake.  Yes, bake it twice.  To make the slicing part easier, I line the loaf pan with parchment and lift it right out after it’s done baking.  Then I freeze the loaf overnight before slicing with a mandoline.  I tried slicing the loaf in half length-wise and then slicing, but the v-shaped mandoline of my mandoline makes it harder as the soft edges catch on the mandoline and rip.  Instead, it’s better to keep the loaf intact and then slice in half.

Look at all that color!  Sooooo yummy.

Sliced and ready to bake again.  See what I mean about it showing its true colors?

After they bake, they turn a darker shade of brown, more like what you’d see if you bought an actual box.

So go bake some (or come on over here!) and we can enjoy some together.  I’d serve these  paired with a triple-cream brie or a p’tit basque (my new favorite cheese, a semi-hard sheep’s milk).  Add in wine, good company in the form of a girl’s night and not much can beat it, in my opinion.  🙂

Raincoast Crisps Wannabe
from a ChowHound post, slightly tweaked

2 cups flour (I typically use white wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (or other nut)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F and line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper.

Combine 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. salt together and mix to combine.  Add in 2 cups buttermilk and 1/4 cup honey, mixing gently to combine.

Add in 1 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1/4 cup sesame seeds and 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary.  Mix gently to combine.

Pour into 2 loaf pans (a good trick is to weigh your mixing bowl before and after mixing the batter, then splitting that number into 2 to determine how much each loaf pan should weigh with half the batter in it).

Bake for 45 minutes at 350-degrees or until springy.  Cool completely on a rack, removing from loaf pan after 15 minutes.  Put in freezer to set before slicing.

Slice thinly (about 1/8″ cuts) and lay on baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 300-degrees F.

Bake each side for approximately 10 – 15 minutes, until crisp and darker brown in color.  Let cool completely, then store in airtight container (storing while still warm will lead to condensation and less-crisp crackers).

Servings:  about 60 crackers