Just a quick little post to tell you about one of my favorite party snacks. My mom’s side of the family introduced us to spicy soda crackers a few years ago and I’ve been making them for tons of events ever since. They are an especially delicious accompaniment to football! The best part is that they are absurdly easy to make and take. I love having these at family gatherings; I made them for our family cabin weekend and my 1 and a half year old niece got into them and loved them. After about 10, she walked up to my sister, with red pepper flakes stuck to her lips and quietly said “ow.” Heh.
The recipe is so simple and there are tons of slight variations of it online (I know because I texted both of my sisters and my best friend once from Tim’s family lakehouse when I wanted to make them over Labor Day and hadn’t commited the recipe to memory yet and got varied responses). The way that I make them works out great for me, though, not overly greasy while still getting tons of seasoning on each cracker. The full recipe calls for a box of Saltines, but I only make a full recipe for a crowd (which we had a last weekend at the lakehouse for a party), and even when I do, I make it in two parts. Tim and I have discovered that this snack is even better with wheat Saltines (or, you know, your grocery store’s generic equivalent, which is what we use. Does Nabisco even make wheat Saltines?) which makes us feel a teeeeensy bit better about all of the oil involved! I love making these for parties because they’re dangerous to make just to have around the house, I will eat them all in no time.
You will need: 1 box of Saltine-style crackers (we tried this once with some old Club crackers at Tim’s parents’ house and it did not go well, the super-dry Saltine cracker absorbs the oil really well), 1 envelope of ranch dressing mix, 2 Tbsps of red pepper flakes, 1.5 C of canola or vegetable oil, and 2 gallon-sized ziplock bags. Dump two sleeves of crackers each in each ziplock bag. (I think the scanned recipe I received from my aunt said to do the whole thing in a 2-gallon bag, but we don’t keep these around and I like having the surface area for seasoning-distribution that splitting it between two bags creates.) Pour 3/4 C oil into a measuring cup and add 1 Tbsp of red pepper flakes and half of the ranch dressing mix to the oil. Whisk together until the seasoning is evenly distributed through the oil and then pour the mixture into one bag with the crackers. Repeat the oil, pepper and dressing step for the other bag. Seal the bags tightly (seriously, that is super important), and then lay the bags out flat, spreading the crackers as much as possible to get lots of contact with the oil mixture. Turn the bags every 15 minutes for an hour or so, most of the oil should be absorbed. Dump the crackers into a serving bowl and enjoy! These can be made ahead of time, though I wouldn’t open and close the bag too many times, as the pepper flakes always seem to get into the zipper mechanism and make the seal terrible. If you miraculously have leftovers, store them in something else! We’ve eaten these crackers up to 5 days after they’ve been prepared and they’re still yummy.