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Want a healthier alternative to your child’s favorite snack? Homemade cheesy flax crackers are delicious–and easier to make than you might think. The dough mixes up quickly in the food processor, and once you cut out the crackers and bake them, you’ll have a fresh treat that’s free of sugar and preservatives. Best of all, your child can make these crackers in any shape he wants!

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

1 cup whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting work surface

1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

2-4 tablespoons ice water

Parent: Preheat oven to 400º

Child: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone liner.

Parent & Child: Measure ingredients and place a flour, cheese, butter, salt and flaxseeds into a bowl of a food processor.

Parent: Pulse until flour and butter form coarse crumbs, about 20 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse again, adding more water if necessary to form a shaggy (not smooth) dough. Remove a small piece of dough from the food processor bowl for your child to test.

Child: Test whether the dough is the right consistency by pressing a small bit between your fingers. It should hold together, but not be sticky. (If the dough feels sticky, add a tablespoon of flour and let your parent mix it into the dough using the food processor.)

Parent: Remove dough from food processor and form it into the flattened disk.

Child: Dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour to keep the cracker dough from sticking to either.

Parent & Child: Roll out dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8-to 1/4 inch thick.

Child: Use a fork to prick holes all over the surface of the dough. The holes will keep the cracker dough from puffing up when it bakes–and that means your finished crackers will be nice and crispy.

Parent & Child: Cut out crackers with your favorite 1/2-inch cookie cutter, following the Cooking Class instructions to keep dough from sticking to the cutter. (If you want your crackers to be square-or triangle-shaped, slice shapes with a pizza wheel.) Maximize the number of crackers you get from the dough by cutting out crackers very close together. Once you’ve cut all the crackers you can, gather the dough scraps and form into another flat disk, then wrap in parchment paper and let rest in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Re-roll and cut into more crackers until you’ve used up all the dough.

Child: Place crackers onto prepared baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart from one another.

Parent: Bake crackers for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove crackers from baking sheet with a spatula and place on a wire rack to cool.  Eat at room temperature or store in a container for up to 3 days (leave the container lid slightly ajar to help the crackers stay crisp).

Makes about 70 1/2-inch crackers

Per serving (about 5 crackers): calories 122, fat 8 g, protein 4 g, carbohydrates 9 g, dietary fiber 2 g

Cooking Class

How to keep dough from sticking to your cookie cutter

1. Pick your favorite bite-size cookie cutter. It can be any shape you like!

2.Place a 1/2 cup of flour into a shallow bowl and set it near where you’ll cut your crackers into shapes.

3. Dip the bottom of the cookie cutter into the flour and lightly tap it against the side of the bowl to shake off excess flour. The flour acts as a barrier between the cutter and the dough, so the dough won’t stick to your cutter.

4.Cut a few crackers, repeat step 3, and continue cutting until there’s no dough left!

 

 

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