Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Snacks - Road Food (Vol. 1)

We headed out on a family road trip this past weekend to Kansas City, MO to see a friend get married (hello and congrats to Briana and Weston!). I really wanted to make an assortment of treats and munchies for the drive, so I set to work looking for recipes for appropriate snacks that fit my road trip food ideals.

When I go on a road trip, I try to cover all the bases for snacks. Generally, that encompasses the following: something sweet, something salty/cheesy, something chewy, and something crunchy. Reading that previous sentence, it probably sounds like I am planning for the food wedding or something, but to be genuinely prepared for anything the road might throw at you, a nice diverse snack lineup is necessary.

The snacks that made the cut for this trip needed to also have the ability to not melt being in a hot car, so I tried to choose accordingly.

For something sweet I decided to go with the classic chocolate chip cookie; the salty/cheesy aspect was covered by some delicious baked cheddar crackers; the chewiness from an "old timey" recipe for applesauce spice cookies; and the crunch from a childhood fave of both me and Matt, puppy chow.

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is from the back of the pack of Ghirardelli chocolate chips. Specifically, the milk chocolate variety! You can find the recipe at this link, but to make them to the Kiefer Kitchen specs, be sure to use milk chocolate Ghirardelli chips and to omit any nuts called for in the recipe. These cookies are perfect for any sort of cookie or chocolate craving, and they are really dangerous to have around, especially if you are anything like me when it comes to cookies.



For the baked cheddar crackers, I turned to a recipe I had been drooling over since I saw it on my friend Heather's blog Pretty Peas. Her recipe for Triple-Cheddar Crackers is super delicious, and as she says, soooo easy. The recipe calls for a food processor, something that I do not own, so I just decided to blend it all up in my Kitchenaid until the dough looked good. Problem #2, I apparently don't have onion powder in my arsenal of spices, so I subbed in garlic powder.

These turned out to be the surprise hit of the snacks, everyone loved them and I know we will definitely be making them again soon. They have a bit of crispiness to them but are a bit soft too, kind of like a cheesy cookie, and no that is not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all! It's a little like a very thin, cheesy biscuit. I hope you can try these out soon!!

Since I am such an avid fan of cookies, I decided to try a new recipe from a book we got on a trip to West Virginia several years ago. Now, this book may sound entirely normal, but it is titled "Old Timey Recipes" and is filled with southern-style, handwritten recipes. I will say, any cookbook containing recipes for pork cake, parsnip wine, and moonshine is okay in my book.

Anyways, the recipe is for applesauce spice cookies and is really delicious.

I highly recommend this book if you're ever in the West Virginia area, the link above is to a place you can get this book which happens to be a place we stopped while visiting (ironically not the place I bought the cookbook!) called Tamarack. Tamarack is a big shopping place full of handcrafted goods and eats from West Virginia. A great place!

These cookies turned out nice and soft, almost cakey. Here's the variation I used:

Applesauce Spice Cookies

Ingredients:
-1-3/4 cups flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup applesauce
-1 cup dried cranberries
-1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/2 cup shortening
-1 egg
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup rolled oats (I used instant)

Mix flour, salt, spices. Cream sugar with shortening. Add beaten egg. Add mixed dry ingredients alternately with applesauce to creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in cranberries and oats. Drop by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 10-15 minutes. Makes 5-6 dozen.

The last recipe was a classic that nearly everyone that likes to bake has probably made. It's a great simple alternative to other cereal snacks, such as rice krispie treats or (my fave) s'mores bars. Puppy chow is a great, and quite addicting, mixture of rice/corn cereal (Crispix type), peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar. Apparently the name we all know this treat by must have had a bad image or something, as it seems the name has been changed to "Sweet Minglers" on the Kellogg's website. The recipe can be found here, and is really quite simple and quick to make.

Phew! Well, hope you enjoyed the overview of some good road snacks from our travels!

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