At the risk of being tarred and feathered, I'm going to just come right out and say it...............
I LOVE and I HATE Whole Foods! Oh, I'm often dizzy with delight at the amazing array of fresh, vibrant, colorful fruits and vegetables of every size, shape and variety. I love the delicious, organic meats and seafood that just can't be beat. And the cheese........... oh my........... incredible!.......... assortments from all over the world .......... the cheesemongers, so pleasant and willing to help you make decisions with tempting samples and a barrage of fascinating information. And did you ever happen to go there early in the morning........ when the heavenly aroma of their fresh, fabulous bread in amazing varieties is wafting through the store? Unbelievable! I could go on and on but you might be wondering ............. she sounds quite smitten, even addicted to this store, so ............. what is it that she hates?
The hate part happens every time I step up to the cash register.............. and go into sticker shock when I see the total! I mean ............ $13.99 a pound for dried cranberries? Come on, I can purchase a delicious three pound bag at Costco for $6.99! How about eight teeny weeny baby carrots for $2.49? And $19.99 for a pound of pecans................. really? I know pecans are a bit pricey right now, but that is ridiculous!
All this brings me to today's recipe. Whole Foods sells these fabulous Raincoast Crisps; shatteringly thin and super crisp, loaded with all kinds of delicious seeds, nuts and dried fruit as well as fresh rosemary. One bite will send you into lifelong addiction! :) They are wonderful with soups and salads, amazing with cheeses, appetizer spreads and hummus and make a yummy snack with a bit of peanut or almond butter and a few apple slices. Ok, so this is the sad news................ a tiny six ounce package sells for $8.99 at Whole Foods (the only store I know of that sells these treats). Are they made of gold? Actually, I'm thrilled to be able to tell you exactly what they're made of (the happy news)!
I belong to a bloggers club called the Secret Recipe Club. Each participating blogger is assigned a blog to (stealthily) check out and to choose a recipe from. Your job is to prepare your own version of the blogger's recipe. All bloggers involved reveal their secret recipe on the same day, at the same time (today!). It's a fun way to meet other bloggers and find wonderful new recipes (check out the posts below, you won't be disappointed!) My assignment this month was Wives with Knives; a delightful blog written by Cathy, who is charming, funny and very talented. Her blog hosts a plethora of amazing recipes, but when I saw the Raincoast Crisps looking all delicious and exactly like my highfalutin cracker friends from Whole Foods, I knew the deal was sealed and this would be my secret recipe choice this month.
I'm so happy to have this recipe just in time for the holidays and I think you will love it too - oh, and I almost forgot to tell you - these can be made for a fraction of the wholesale price! They would make fabulous gifts bundled in a clear bag and tied with a pretty ribbon!
I adapted Cathy's version just a bit, using pecans in lieu of hazelnuts and raisins instead of dried cranberries (because these were what I had in the pantry!). I baked half of mine in loaf pans as her recipe called for, but also made some into long thin crisps by baking the batter in a 9x9 inch cake pan. The results are spectacular, so spectacular that I think I will need to hide them in order to make them last until Thanksgiving. (fat chance! - photographer comment)
P.S. In defense of Whole Foods, I do have to say that part of the problem is my own fault; you see, I run in for one thing and come out with ten as there are fun, fresh, delicious and enticing items everywhere I look!
P.P.S. I served these Pecan Crisps with a delicious Edamamae Hummus, a light, fresh, healthy spread - perfect any time of the year, but a welcome addition right now in the midst so many heavy high-calorie, high-fat temptations! Check back tomorrow for the recipe!
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup raisins
½ cup pecans, lightly chopped
½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitos)
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup flax seed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes. Add the raisins, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed and rosemary and stir just until blended.
3. Pour the batter into two 9x9" cakepans or 4 small loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.
4. Allow the loaves to cool completely, then freeze for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This will help you slice the loaves very thinly. Slice as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake at 300˚F for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake the slices for another 10 minutes until crisp and golden. Let crisps cool for about 10 minutes, if not super crispy, return to oven for another 5-7 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 4 dozen long thin crisps (made in the 9x9" pans) or 6 dozen square crisps (made in the small loaf pans).