Introduction: Cheesy Goldfish Crackers XL
Goldfish, Cheez-ums... the cheesier the better!
We made two sizes the School Babies are 3" across. The Big Mama is over 6". The trick for making large crispy crackers is to use lots of fat and bake hot.
Here are a few different options... you'll see in the second photo the preferred option used for this bake. It may seem a little funny but the best way to get cheese flavor into the crackers is to use parmesan packets. Sure, the flavor is a little artificial but no more than any boxed cracker.
- Vegan - Oil + Field Roast Chao (on amazon)
- Traditional - Butter + Tillamook Cheddar (visit the creamery! we store flour in the free buckets)
- Thrift - Oil + Costco Parmesan Packets (basically free)
Equipment: Using a Kitchenaid Classic. It's a fixture in our house for bread and bakes. Of all the baking this is probably the least essential. If you don't have a mixer you could use a food processor or simply fold ingredients in by hand. ---prices are back up right now... typically I'd say to wait for black friday but who knows where things are going.
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Step 1: Making the Dough
If you've read through any of my recipes you have seen that we bake without strictly following a recipe. The idea is that it's better to be a bit off than to have to clean measuring tools! Here I'll share the general mix but know that if you are off by any degree you can always course correct with baking when it comes to adding steps further into the bake (see notes).
- Oil 1/2c - See that I started with 1/4c only to add another 1/4c once a first cup of water was added.
- Flour 3c - Once you add the flour you can always rebalance with water and oil.
- Salt, Flavor - 1/4 tsp of salt. It could have handled more but it wasn't lacking. 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes because we like the taste. 1/4 tsp of garlic and onion powder each.
- Cheese - About 16 packets went into the dough. I figure that's two Costco Pizza toppings worth.
- Water 2c - After adding the first cup it seemed a little dry. It's much more forgiving to bake crackers with more fat than less. You'll get a better flakier cracker if you add butter but what isn't better with butter?
Water Note: If you don't regularly bake it may seem a little funny not to know how much water to add. It's worth jumping in and knowing that you'll get it right. You want it to feel like dough. See the photos that show the tacky dough as it starts to clump together around the dough hook.
Step 2: Shaping the School Babies
Use a stencil to shape the School Babies. Easy to cut a folded sheet of paper and round the edges. Computer paper was my approach but any craft paper or parchment also works. From there I used the point of a butter knife to cut. Clean up the edges using your fingers. I also pinched the body before the tail because they looked a little plump.
Smiles were added with a curved spatula. A spoon would also do the trick.
Step 3: Shaping the Big Mama
The overall shape was cut by hand. From there I used a griddle surface to add some character to the Big Mama. At over 6" long she needed a little detail. Simply roll a bottle over the dough to add texture to each side.
Step 4: Baking
Bake hot! Our oven was set to 425. I've baked crackers at every temp and you really can't fail. If you don't bake hot it takes a long time to get a crisp cracker. It also is harder to get a puffy crunchy cracker. Butter helps a bit for a puffier cracker providing more expansion than oil.
Allow crackers rest 20-40min. They are at their least crunchy right out of the oven but always worth a taste. As they rest moisture continues to leave the cracker.
Step 5: Finishing
Smile! These crunchy cheesy crackers are a hit!
Step 6: Kid Tested
Our little guy was all over them as I tried to take a few photos. He then carried one around the room with him for the rest of this rainy spring day. Best to keep the vacuum handy as these make lots of crumbs in the hands of a toddler!
Runner Up in the
Go Big Challenge