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Monday, July 16, 2012

Herbed Almond Crackers

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For a while there, I thought I had a gluten allergy. My thyroid problems were making me react to all kinds of things, leaving me in a Benadryl-induced haze after I my neck would erupt in hives following one meal or another. My allergy tests kept coming back normal, but obviously that was not the case, so I ended up cutting out wheat for about eight months.
And let me tell you, the world of food allergies and dietary restrictions can be a dark and lifeless place. If any of you have ever tasted gluten-free pita bread, you know what I’m talking about. Everything is either bland, squeaky, or so full of unpronounceable ingredients that having these food limitations can seem like a death sentence. A girl cannot survive on broccoli and chocolate bars alone.
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This is when having no problem poking around the kitchen for hours came in handy. I had attempted a few gluten-free cookies that came out tasty, but a little lacking on the texture front. It’s so difficult to get that balance between crunchy and chewy when you’re not using regular flour. And don’t even get me started on trying to make bread. But what I want to know is why try to mimic something else, when you could make something special and uniquely delicious in its own right? And that’s why I like almond flour.
Crackers are an easy foray into gluten-free baking. They are nearly impossible to mess up, and they come out tasty and exactly the way you’ve imagined them. They also use so few ingredients that it’s hard to believe they’ll work when you’re whipping up the dough. Make a batch or two, freeze one, and you’ll always have a munchable snack at the ready for when those carb cravings kick in, whether you're gluten free or simply looking for an addition to your after dinner cheese spread.

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Herbed Almond Crackers
Makes 1 dozen crackers
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
3 tablespoons ice water
Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk together almond flour, Herbes de Provence, and salt. Stir in water. Gather dough into a ball and press between two pieces of plastic wrap until flat and 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick, depending upon how thin you like your crackers. Cut into shapes until all dough has been used. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Let cool.

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