Hye Thyme Cafe: Banana Crackers

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Banana Crackers


Hye Thyme Cafe: Banana Crackers


Being away from home for a few days, I came back to three over-ripe bananas.  As much as I love Banana Bread and Banana Muffins, I wanted to try using them in something else for a change, so I decided to try crackers.  Never having heard of banana crackers before, I looked online for inspiration.  Several sites popped up, but when I started looking through them, I realized that almost all of them were the same, with slight variations in the amount of salt and that sort of thing - no indication of the original source.  That said, I completely ignored them all and decided to wing it.  

Then I looked in a book I have on flavor combinations and saw that bananas pair well with, among other things, chilies and almonds, so I decided to include chili powder and almond meal/flour.  Knowing how well bananas and peanut butter go together, and thinking about how the chili powder might work with peanut butter, I was reminded of one of my favorite salads, Thai Chicken Salad, which has a lime vinaigrette and a spicy (i.e., chilies) peanut sauce ... which also incorporates sesame oil. That's how I came to this seemingly odd variety of ingredients.

INGREDIENTS :
3 very ripe bananas
1 t sesame oil
2 T peanut butter
zest of 1 small lime
2 c old fashioned oats
1 c almond meal/flour
2 t chili powder
1 c flour
Sea salt

  1. Beat together the bananas, sesame oil, peanut butter and lime zest
  2. Mix in the oats and almond flour
  3. Whisk together the chili powder and flour, then add to the rest
  4. Roll out very thin (approx 1/8") and cut into desired shapes
  5. Transfer to un-greased baking sheets and spirnkle with sea salt
  6. Bake at 375 for 15-20" until golden and starting to form bubbles in spots
  7. When last tray comes out, if you find the crackers are not crisp enough, turn off oven and put all the crackers back in - piled on one tray is fine.  If your oven is new or has a great seal on it, you might want to check on them in a while to make sure they're not over-done.

Hye Thyme Cafe: Banana Crackers
Roll out very thin

Sprinkle with sea salt before baking on un-greased baking sheets
Love the flecks of lime zest  :)
 
Bake until nicely browned and bubbles starting to form
See the little bubbles forming?
 
Return to oven (off) to finish crisping
Return to oven (off) to finish crisping








Time will vary with thickness and shape

Bake time will vary with thickness, shape, pan ...


The dough is super easy to work with, so you can keep re-rolling and cutting the scraps.  I made one tray with large crackers, maybe 2"x4", then another tray of smaller squares, about 1" using a pastry wheel for the crimped edges, and a third tray using a 1" circle cutter, so it makes quite a few.

These crackers are more crunchy than crispy.  If you want a crispier texture, maybe try replacing some of the oats with more almond or AP flour, or try pulsing some of the oats in a food mill first.  I like using whole grains where I can, and my cravings usually lean toward something crunchy in the evenings.

I have to admit that, although the banana comes through, I'm not getting much by way of the other flavors, so unless they just serve to elevate the banana and my palate is not that refined, I may increase the amounts next time around.


4 comments:

  1. I have never heard of banana crackers--intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't either, so I was half surprised to see any pop up with an internet search. That said, it seems like no matter what you search for online, you will find it has already been done. ;)

      Delete
  2. Oh, wow. That is really unique! I like the concept.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, I popped off a crown, so crunchy won't be in my menu until I can get it re-cemented. :(

      Delete

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