12 November 2010

Home Made Raincoast Crisps Paired with an Oregon Award Winning Cheese

Cranberry and Hazelnut Raincoast Crisps
Vancouverite Lesley Stowe's culinary journey took her from the streets of Paris back to her roots on the West Coast of Canada where she helped set up a small cooking school. At that time she had her culinary hand in catering and doing high-end desserts for local Vancouver restaurants. She eventually opened a retail location off Granville Island with an eye to growing her specialty food line of high-end cheeses, preparing take-out and packaged foods.

One of the catering items that became increasingly successful from Stowe’s catering line was a product called Raincoast Crisps. They were making them for parties and then offering them in their store where they sold out immediately. The original Raincoast Crisps are available in 5 different flavours, some of them like Turkish Fig and Olive are available only seasonally.

We absolutely love the Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps but at $7 a box why not try your hand at making your own to spread the love a little further.

I came across an excellent recipe from Canada's own Julie Van Rosendaal from Dinner with Julie. With the holidays looming it seemed a good time to "festive up" these crackers with dried cranberries and hazelnuts.  These are the biscotti of the "cracker world" since they are baked in loaves, sliced as thinly as possible and baked again. This recipe makes 4 small loaves which you can throw in the freezer ready to slice and bake again for an impromptu gathering.

They have a toasty, nutty flavour with a slightly sweet finish with hints of spice that goes well with cheeses and your favourite dips and spreads. These would be perfect for that holiday party. You can also use them crushed for a coating for chicken and a topping for a tasty casserole as well. They are just so versatile. If they sit out too long you can crisp them up again by warming them in a 375F oven for 5 - 7 minutes.

While I was at the Foodbuzz Festival last weekend I had a few moments to peek in at Cow Girl Creamery in the Ferry Building. I wanted Joan and Norma to have the opportunity to try an award winning blue cheese from Oregon that I had first tried in Seattle. It has only been in the past few years that blue cheese has graced the MTBT kitchen. The gentleman behind the counter was kind enough to open a new wheel for our tasting so we were in for a real treat!!

Rogue River Ceamery Blue is a handmade cheese, made from cow's milk and is only produced during the autumnal equinox and winter solstice. These cows graze in pastures that are along the Rogue River. They eat a variety of natural grasses, wild herbs, and wild flowers, supplemented with grass hay, alfalfa and grain grown on the ranch. This blue cheese is rich, creamy, with a slight sweetness. The wheels of Rogue River Blue are covered in Syrah and Merlot grape leaves macerated in Clear Creek pear brandy, giving an earthiness to the flavour.  The cheese ripens in caves designed to emulate the ancient caves of Roquefort.

To make it spreadable I mixed it with a little cream cheese and a teaspoon of milk and voila you are ready for your holiday guests.

**Cranberry Hazelnut Raincoast Crisps**

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup hazelnuts or chopped pecans
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitos)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes. Add the raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed and rosemary and stir just until blended.

Pour the batter into two 8”x4” loaf pans (or 4 small loaf pans) that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.

The cooler the bread, the easier it is to slice really thin. You can leave it until the next day or pop it in the freezer. Slice the loaves as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I like to slice and bake one loaf and pop the other in the freezer for another day.) Reduce the oven heat to 300° F and bake them for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden. Try not to eat them all at once.

Makes about 8 dozen crackers.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison Best Blogger Tips


  1. Def a great holiday entertaining Idea Val...as you say these would be perfect with cheese. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Oh Val~
    A friday's favorite for sure! I love rain coat crisps... but hate to pay $9.99 at Whole Funds. Now I can make my own.
    I'm hooking you up to the linky party :-)

  3. This is a great flavour combination. I also love Julie's recipe and have been making variations.

  4. Excellent! The crisps look and sound delicious. Love the variety of the ingredients! The blue cheese sounds like a winner also!

  5. Hello, hello my dear Im happy you are here again! This sound absolutely yummy!Thanks for a nice recipe! gloria

  6. I love these crackers, Val, and am thrilled to have this recipe. Rogue Creamery sells their cheeses at my farmers market and I can vouch that they are absolutely wonderful. This will be my favorite appetizer during the holiday season.

  7. Oh Val, I was so cheering you on last week... you were in my hometown area.

    And I'm so happy you liked the Rogue River Creamery (I do, too!) It is located in my current hometown area. :)

    It was so enjoyable traveling along with you ~ and thank you so much for sharing! This recipe looks fabulous. I hope to make it soon, and will link back. xo~m.

  8. Those look wonderful! What a great idea. Perfect with cheese.



  9. These look delicious.. and the cheese, always trying new fromage!! yumm

  10. These would be perfect to have on hand for holiday entertaining- they sound absolutely wonderful! Thanks for the recipe. :)

  11. It sounds like you had a great time in SF! I like how these crackers are chock full of nuts and seeds!

  12. What are hazelbuts? Are those hazelnuts? :) I've never heard of these, and they do sound really tasty to make. I was headed home, and only hand time to glance at Cowgirl Creamery. I plan to return next month, with my sweetie, so I can have a leisurely stroll through the Ferry Building. I'm loving discovering new artisan cheeses. Great tips!

  13. I honestly cannot wait to make this. They are really delicious looking and sounding. I and cutting and pasting the recipe right now since I have a habit of forgetting where I saw a recipe I really want to do. Thanks so much. I'll have to check for Rogue River cheeses around here.


  14. Thanks for sharing this lovely idea for a snack, will definitely make entertaining easy!!

  15. Hi Val,
    I just love your site and look forward to your emails. These crackers look absolutely fabulous and kudos to you for the wonderful photography...your photo's are always so beautiful!
    I look forward to making these as soon as I find the HazelButs..lol
    Thank you for sharing all your great recipes with us, it truly is appreciated!
    Best Wishes from Toronto

  16. I will be making these very soon! Your blog is wonderful.


  17. Trying not to eat them all at once might be a problem for me. Thanks for the warning.

  18. I see now what everyone is talking about. Ha! Ha! Yes they are hazelnuts and not hazel"buts", although I like the name:D

  19. Val I made those crisps before and replaced the raisins with cranberries. They were absolutely delicious. They look great.

  20. This is definitely something I'll be making. I have the cheese in my refrigerator as we speak/write. The bread looks really wonderful and the cheese will be perfect with it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  21. wow, great idea this looks wonderful!!


  22. I have the recipe from Dinner with Julie - and I will have to compare it with yours. When these came out, I said,"These would be so easy to make!" but did I try to develop a recipe? No! Thank you for this. I love the Ferry Market and the building and the Cow Girl's Creamery. They are so willing to have you sample there. Others need to understand, that once you sample something you love, you are smitten and buy buy buy!

  23. You did it!!! They look incredible! I am thinking of making these and cranberry chutney as a little holiday gift. Would you say there as good (or better) than the store bought ones?

  24. LOVE these crisps! They are ridiculously expensive though, your recipe sounds delicious! I am so glad I was paired with you for taste and create, so many delicious choices!

  25. I really love the look of these crackers. (I may even try to make them which will be a major feat for me since I've yet to embrace baking). I'm sure they paired perfectly with that very special blue cheese.

  26. My friends & I love Lesley Stowe's crackers. Thanks for sharing info about her & this recipe you came up with. Must try it out!

  27. These crisps sound like the perfect thing to have on hand for a Thanksgiving day appetizer! Or to just sit and munch on as you please. Bookmarked!

  28. this looks delicious - it reminds me of cretan paximadi, a rusk we eat on almost a daily basis on the island; perfect for cheese and wine, as well as other spreads

  29. Oh Val...these crisps are so getting baked in my kitchen. All those flavours coming together with a sharp bite and yes a wonderful blue cheese would be great ...yummmy!

    Have a great day,

  30. What a fab savoury biscotti post this is val. Just right for my kind of tatse. Wish I had some of that delicious cheese too, but this crisp biscotti will make up for everything... I ♥ it!!

  31. what a very interesting combo--i really like the idea of cranberries and rosemary together, not to mention all those awesome seeds. this is some kind of wonderful!

  32. I'm stopping in to say Hello after seeing Cathy's post on these chips. I am making the shopping list right now so I can make them this weekend! They sound wonderful!

    I'm adding my name to your Subscribe by Email list today!

  33. Hi Val, These are some yummy sounding crisps! I read on another food blog about these so they must be very popular in your neck of the woods. I like the addition of cranberries and believe that your recipe was one of the most inspirational that was shared last week on my get-together so I featured it. I hope that you join us again with more of your great recipes! Also, I wish you a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

  34. This is fantastic! I will try these for sure. I love your blog :)

  35. I had never heard of Raincoast Crisps, but they recipe looked good so I decided to try it. As soon I could smell them coming from the oven, I knew it was love. So good, and that rosemary is a stroke of genius! I made it with whole wheat flour and coconut sugar.


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