Here’s a recipe from my stepmother, Pat. Or at least I think it’s from Pat. Maybe it’s from my sister-in-law, Kathy or my dad’s friends from Arkansas, Shelly and Kermit. I can’t remember, but someone explained how to make these at a family gathering, and I finally got around to trying the recipe myself. It’s for those days when
you’re bored you’ve invited friends over for a fancy party, then at the last minute, realized “Whoops! I don’t have anything in the pantry but Saltines!”
This is a way to transform plain old Saltines into elegant pastry-like crackers.
I guess the first thing I should tell you is you’re not *really* making soufflés out of crackers. What you’re doing is soaking the crackers until they puff up with water, draining them, dotting with butter, baking, salting and cooling. Here’s an illustration of what happens along the way. I was a little stingy with the butter, but this should give you a vague idea of how much to use.
The end result is a fancy brown cracker with a buttery flavor that can be eaten alone or served with dip. I like eating them straight, tossed with a little sea salt, as did the rest of the family. I made them as I was making dinner, then put them out for people to snack on before the meal. That’s always a good time to experiment with crackers, as people are usually starving. If you try these, let me know what you think.
- 15 Saltines (to start)
- Butter, unsalted or salted -- amount will vary
- Coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment.
- Fill a 9x13 inch (ish!) pan with about 1 inch of very cold water. Put the Saltines in the water one by one, doing your best to cover them with a little water without breaking.
- Let the crackers sit and soak up water for about 10 minutes or until they become slightly waterlogged.
- With a slotted spatula, carefully lift the sopping crackers up, one by one, letting water drip out through the slots in the spatula. Try to keep the crackers from falling apart.
- Arrange the crackers side by side on your baking sheet.
- With a grater, grate some cold butter into a pile. I did this over a sheet of foil. Put a small (about 1/2 inch across -- see photo) pile of butter flakes in the center of each cracker.
- Bake the crackers at 425 on the center rack for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake for another 22 to 30 minutes (check at 20) or until crackers are golden brown and seem crisp. Remove from oven and let cool completely. While they are cooling, sprinkle with a little coarse salt. If you’ve used salted butter, you might be able to skip the last bit of salt, but I used unsalted butter and felt the crackers needed it.