Have you ever had Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps? If you have, I think you might want to marry me, because I’ve come up with pretty close copy and, even better, you can make them for pennies!!! How cool is that?
If you’ve never had the opportunity to try these fabulously delicious, crisp, fall-inspired crackers from Trader Joe’s, you’re in for a wonderful treat! They’re perfect on a cheese tray, with dips and are a nice side for soups and salads to boot. I love that they’re a healthy alternative to traditional crackers, with pumpkin puree, whole grains, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, flax seed, dried cranberries and nonfat buttermilk starring as the winning ingredients.
At Trader Joe’s, a small box (5.3-ounces) cost $3.99. Similar crackers, available at gourmet markets run anywhere from $7.99-$9.99 for a small box (6-ounces). You can throw together a BIG batch of these fun fall-inspired crisps for less than $2.00 (are you thinking of proposing yet?)
Your family/friends will be thrilled when you bring a bag of these crackers tied with a pretty ribbon and a wedge of yummy cheese as a hostess gift. This would also be a wonderful treat for neighbors, teachers, hairdressers, postmen , etc.- anyone you want to say “thanks”, “I care” or “you’re the best” to.
The Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps are baked in small loaf pans, producing a square-shaped cracker. I decided to do something fun and a bit different – I made my crackers round by spooning my batter into small, well-greased straight-sided Mason jars. After a first bake, they’re cooled and then placed in the freezer for an hour. This makes it super easy to cut the round loaves into thin slices. The slices are then placed on a sheet pan and baked a second time till super crisp (and crazy-delicious).
How did I do it? I simply bought a box of the TJ crackers and studied the list of ingredients. It’s not a secret that companies are required to list ingredients according to the quantity that’s contained in a particular item. For example; if flour is listed in the beginning of the list, you know that there’s a decent amount of flour in the finished product. If flour is one of the last ingredients listed, there’s most likely, a minuscule amount of flour included.
That’s where I started, and then just played around with proportions till I got it pretty darn close. One thing I couldn’t replicate was the “pumpkin powder” used in the TJ crackers, but I actually like using real pumpkin puree better, so I spent a bit of time figuring out how to make that work.
I think you’ll love having this delicious recipe in your entertaining/gift-giving collection. Oh, and just to let you know, I am very happily married, so in lieu of marriage proposals, I wouldn’t mind season tickets to the symphony or …………
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour (you could also use 1 cup of all-purpose flour instead of a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup flax seed
- 1½ teaspoons fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree*
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Generously spray 4 8-ounce glass Mason-type jars (like this or this) with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the flour and dried cranberries. Rub mixture with your fingers to separate dried cranberries, till there are no large clumps. Add baking soda, oats, sunflower seeds, flax seed, spices, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Combine buttermilk, brown sugar and pumpkin purree. Stir till well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir, just until flour disappears.
- Spoon the batter into prepared jars, filling ⅔ full. Bake for 25-28 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come back clean or with just a few crumbs. Allow to cool in jars for 10 minutes then remove by inverting and gently shaking jar. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- When the loaves are cooled, place in freezer for 1 hour. This will help you to slice the crackers nice and thin.(If you end up freezing them longer than an hour, no problem. Just let them sit for about 10-15 minutes before trying to slice them.)
- Preheat oven to 300˚F. Cut loaves into ⅛-inch slices and place slices on prepared sheet pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp. Crackers will get even crisper as they cool. Store in an airtight container or freeze in zippered bags.
- Yield: 5-6 dozen
Depending on the humidity, sometimes the crackers will loose their crispness after being stored for awhile. If that happens, just pop them back in a 350˚F oven for about 5 minutes. They'll be fresh as ever. I noticed Trader Joe's crackers will do that too after being opened.