If you’ve tried the delicious Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps from Trader Joe’s, you’re going to be thrilled to be able to make them yourself – for a fraction of the price! If you haven’t tried them, you’ll be thrilled – when you take the first bite of these Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps!
I ran into Whole Foods the other day, in a hurry as usual. I needed a quick appetizer and decided cheese and crackers would be perfect. I love that Whole Foods always has lots of cheese samples, and it didn’t take me long to find a wonderful aged Gouda. I also grabbed the delicious looking package of pumpkin cranberry crackers that was displayed beside the cheese and scurried up to the checkout counter. Yikes, it was a bit of sticker shock when the crackers rang up at $9.99 for a tiny (6-ounce) package. Then I remembered this recipe for Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps (very similar to the Whole Foods crackers) and decided it was time to pull it out of the dusty archives.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to try the delicious, crisp, fall-inspired, Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps you’re in for a wonderful treat! They’re perfect on a cheese tray, with dips and can make a fabulous side for soups and salads. I love that they’re a healthy alternative to traditional crackers, with pumpkin puree, whole grains, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, flax seed, dried cranberries and buttermilk in the ingredient “star” roles.
Make these crackers for a fraction of the cost!
At Trader Joe’s, a small box (5.3-ounces) of this type of cracker is more reasonable than Whole Foods at $3.99, but still a bit pricey. Guess what? You can throw together a BIG batch of these Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps for less than $2.00.
Your family/friends will be over the moon 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.
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 jelly jars. I really like the round look on a cheese tray, but feel free to use the small loaf pans or even clean tomato paste cans (8-ounce size).
After baking, these crackers are cooled and 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 come up with the recipe? I simply bought a box of the TJ crackers and studied the list of ingredients. It’s no 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.
After that, I just played around with proportions till I got, what I think is, 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.
Check your pantry right now and figure out what you need to make these fun and delicious Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps. You’ll be all set for fall entertaining and gift giving!
Café Tips for making these Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps
- These crackers are double baked. First they’re baked in small glass jars, cooled and the little logs are placed in the freezer for an hour. The freezing makes it easy to slice the crackers nice and thin. After the first baking, you can keep the logs in the freezer if desired for several months. When ready to slice and bake, just remove them from the freezer to thaw a bit before slicing.
- These Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps can also be baked in clean empty cans. The 8-ounce cans that tomato paste comes (or similar size cans) in would be perfect. Small loaf pans can be used too. The crackers will have a rectangular shape.
- 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 the box is opened.
- If preferred, you can use 1 cup of all-purpose flour (instead of a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat) or just 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
- Feel free to substitute difference types of nuts and seeds according to your own taste.
- This recipe calls for just 3 tablespoons of Pumpkin puree. If you’re wondering about what to do with leftover pumpkin, check out this post.
What I used to make and present these Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps
If you've tried the delicious Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps from Trader Joe's, you're going to be thrilled to be able to make them yourself - for a fraction of the price! If you haven't tried them, you'll be thrilled - when you take the first bite of these Copycat Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps!
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup flax seed
- 1 1/2 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 2/3 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 1/8-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.