I get bored easily. Before my days as a recipe developer, I went from job to job and after a few months I lost interest and was ready to explore a new opportunity. Discovering this passion that now allows me the freedom to explore and create in any new direction that I please is the perfect fit for my life. Pretty amazing to be able to do what I love, and call it a job!
Writing the Essential Gluten Free Baking Guides Part 1 and 2 with Iris Higgins gave me the opportunity to delve deep into learning how 12 different gluten free flours work. Now, baking primarily grain free the itch to learn has once again taken over. I have about 6 new flours on my list that I'm planning to tackle with full force over the next few months. You may start to find some recipes here with more unique ingredients. Like for example in today's recipe which uses Chestnut Flour!
Chestnut Flour is fascinating. The flour itself appears reminiscent more to a grain based flour than any of the other grain free flours I have seen to date. Its light and powdery. I could tell just by its appearance that it was going to behave quite different than any other nut flour. Doing some quick research I discovered that chestnuts contain a higher starch content than say almonds. My theory is that it will bake some fabulous light baked goods for me down the road. For my first cookbook I created a Chocolate Mint Graham Cracker Recipe. That recipe contains starch, for sometime now the wheels in my head have been spinning to figure out how to remove it ( and still obtain the light crunch it provides). Chestnut flour was my answer. I simply used it in place of the starch, reduced the liquid slightly and out from my oven came incredible classic cinnamon graham crackers that taste EXACTLY like those you would buy from the store. High in protein & low in sugar they have the perfect light crunch and will melt in your mouth. I even used these graham crackers as the crust for a key lime pie- amazing results.
Where to buy Chestnut Flour? I purchased mine from a local store called NiBlack. One of my favorite companies Nuts.com also carries it. I have not yet tried their Chestnut Flour to compare it to the brand I used. I will be doing this soon- I'm hoping that there is not a big difference brand to brand as that could affect how this recipe turns out.
I do not at this point have any alteration suggestions to offer. This flour is so new to me, that I don't want to steer any of you in the wrong direction. I can tell you though that the Almond Flour CANNOT be exchanged for coconut flour. If you are unable to consume one of my listed ingredients I suggest you take this as an opportunity to do some exploring of your own.
- 1 1/4 packed cup Blanched Almond Flour
- 1 packed cup + 4 Tbs Chestnut Flour
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
- 2 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda (or baking powder)
- 1/4 Tsp. Salt
- 2 Tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tsp. Powdered Ginger.
- 1/4 Cup Applesauce.
- Preheat oven to 315 degrees.
- In a bowl combine all ingredients (this could also be done in a food processor). Using your hands mix the dough until it becomes thick and holds together. Kneed it for a few minutes until it is smooth.
- Divide the dough in half, and roll out thin (1/8 inch or thinner) onto a sheet of parchment paper into a large rectangle. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into square pieces. Gently separate each piece so that that all of the edges are exposed. Using a fork, prick a few holes into each cracker. Transport the sheet of parchment onto the cookie tray (Do not bake crackers directly on sheet as they may stick)
- Place in the oven and bake 13-15 minutes. Crackers will become lightly brown. Keep an eye towards the end of the cooking time to make sure the edges do not burn. Remove from oven and allow the crackers to cool and harden before removing them from the pan.
- Repeat with second portion of the dough. (Note: Prepare the second tray of crackers while the first bakes, you do not wanting the dough to sit around for a long period of time as the baking powder/soda will loose some of its oomph.)
Store crackers at room temperature once cooled in a sealed bag, or in the freezer for another day!