I was pretty excited about making rosemary west coast crisps. To actually come close to making the famous “Raincoast Crisps” from scratch seemed a big challenge. Raincoast crisps are the culinary gold that took Canada by storm a few years ago but were almost considered a luxury item because they were, (and still are) so expensive. After paying a fortune, the crisps seemed to disappear in a few seconds once they were set out with a cheese plate or dip. Sometimes the hostess (me) did not even get to indulge! So I set out to remedy that.
The good news is that after checking around I discovered that others had been successful at turning out crisps that were a very good imitation. So I thought why not give it a shot. I like kitchen challenges especially this time of year when it’s dumping rain outside and my house is warm and cozy, just right for experimenting. After using a couple of recipes as a guideline, I came up with my own version, and I must say I was quite impressed with the final results. I hope you will be as well!
I discovered these crackers are actually very easy to make and now like me you will no longer need to be stingy with these spectacular “mini fruit cake toasts” bursting with seeds, nuts, and dried fruit!
The photo above shows the crisps BEFORE the second baking.
Rosemary west coast crisps are savoury with a hint of sweetness and fresh rosemary is a brilliant addition, which gives such a unique flavour. I have a beautiful rosemary bush that was being ignored so since I absolutely love these super crunchy crackers (which are twice baked like biscotti) I thought what a great way to put my rosemary to good use. The loaves can be frozen ahead for later use, which makes them perfect for family or friends that may be visiting. You will also discover that this recipe is incredibly adaptable, so feel free to add whatever nuts or dried fruit you prefer. You can tell by some of the photos that I have changed up the ingredients in the different batches I’ve made.
This recipe makes an ample amount for everyone to enjoy, as well as enough for a fantastic homemade gift. The first time that I served these crisps they passed with flying colours and I felt an immense relief as I watched some pretty finicky eaters at my get-together devouring them. If you have any crisps leftover, I have reheated them in the toaster being careful not to let them burn, and they turned out fine. Perfect for a late night snack, or a wholesome breakfast on the run (worked for me).
Rosemary West Coast Crisps
- 2 cups all purpose flour, or use 1 cup all purpose flour and one cup whole wheat
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fancy molasses
- 2 cups buttermilk, or 1 cup buttermilk and 1 cup cooled Earl Grey tea.
- 1/2 whole hazelnuts, or chopped pecans, walnuts, pistachios
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup chopped dried prunes optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8"x 4" loaf pans, or mini loaf pans and dust with flour, shaking out excess. Position rack in the centre of oven.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, rosemary, dried fruit, nuts and seeds in a large bowl. Stir to blend, breaking up any of the dried fruit that may be stuck together.
Combine buttermilk, (tea if using), and molasses and pour over dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. It may look a bit runny, but this is fine.
Pour into prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes (less for mini loaves), until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Remove pans from the oven and set on a rack to cool for a couple of minutes. Remove loaves from pans. The bread needs to be completely cool before slicing (makes it much easier to slice thinly). It might be a good idea to bake the loaves early in the day or else place them in the refrigerator or freezer for 30-60 minutes to cool down.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Using a serrated knife, slice the loaves very thin (1/8".) Place the slices in a single layer on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn them over to continue baking for 10 more minutes until they are starting to look dry. The slices will crisp up more once they are removed from the oven, so make sure they aren't getting burnt.
Transfer crisps to a cooling rack.
The loaves can be frozen before they are sliced and baked again to use at a later date. Thaw slightly then continue on with the slicing and second baking.