When I was a kid, I was very into trendy foodstuffs. Translation: all the advertising that took place during after-school cartoons totally worked on me. If Lucky Charms debuted a new marshmallow charm, I had to get a box the next time we went to the grocery store. New fruit snacks featuring a cool new flavor? Must have. And if McDonald’s was giving out some awesome new toy – such as those dinky plastic Barbies – I begged my parents to take me for a Happy Meal. (Don’t get me started on how many Happy Meals I bought in ninth grade to collect miniature Beanie Babies. What a waste of money.)
One childhood snack I never particularly got into was Pepperidge Farm’s goldfish crackers. It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I started buying them regularly, and then, true to form, I was wowed by all the new flavors that had been introduced. S’mores goldfish? Rainbow fish?? My eyes were bigger than my stomach and I ended up buying bags at a time.
These goldfish crackers are, dare I say, light-years better than what you can get at the store. The freshly grated sharp cheddar infuses the crackers with an intense taste of cheese, and the onion powder lends a nuance that is more geared toward the adult palate. Together, they make your home smell like heaven for hours. And while the crackers look like they might be dense, they’re actually crisp and airy, which keeps you going back for for. What I like best, though, is that you can throw in your own personal touch. Create your own sea creature menagerie! I made some crackers in the shape of whales. Although if Pepperidge Farms ever comes out with whale crackers, no doubt I’ll be in line to get those as well.
On a different note, I leave you with photos from my sunset walk along the Charles River. Stunning.
Whole Wheat Cheddar Goldfish Crackers
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
I haven’t tried it, but I bet you could swap out the orange-colored sharp cheddar for similar types of cheese. Obviously you could substitute a white cheddar, and Parmesan would probably work too (perhaps with a little added pepper to add a kick?).
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) grated orange sharp cheddar
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until the dough forms a ball.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will make it much easier to roll out the dough, cut the fish, and transfer them to the baking sheet. You don’t want your fish sticking to the counter like my first batch did.
Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin. Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes and transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until crackers take on the slightest hint of brown at the edges. Cool completely before eating, if you can wait that long.