Gluten Free homemade Cheddar Crackers (Annie's Bunnies)

It’s been a week since Audrey’s diagnosis of Celiac disease.  We’ve run the gamut of emotions, faced a few challenges and wrestled our way through the pain of her first cross contamination experience (awful, so awful).

We, and by we I mean, I have been buried under a cloud of gluten free flour, recipe experiments both failures & successes. 

I’ve spent hours reading, researching and compiling recipes.  I’ve tried things, I’ve changed things (because when do I ever follow a recipe) and I’ve done my best to stay as busy as possible so as not to face my emotions make sure Audrey has life as normal as possible, not missing her favourite foods.

It’s been…intense, fun and frustrating. 

The up coming months are going to be filled with our journey through Celiac disease.  I’ll share recipes that work and tales of failures.  If it’s a recipe I’ve modified then I’ll make sure to link to the original, if I’ve followed it to a T or only made slight alterations then I’ll link you back to the original instead and if I’ve made it up myself, you’ll know that too.  I’ll do my best to make sure that she/he who deserves the credit receives it.

Today, I’m going to share our best success and the recipe that’s been requested the most.

For years I’ve made our girls homemade “goldfish” crackers.  On the days I didn’t feel like making them, I’d buy them the Annie’s Bunny alternative (I don’t like the ingredients in the real goldfish crackers).  Homemade or store bought, they are always a favourite here.

After I received Audrey’s diagnosis those snacks almost instantly jumped to mind and my stomach dropped.  What was I going to do?  She was going to be so sad!

When I told Audrey about her diagnosis last Tuesday I made her a promise – for every item on her “STOP! Gluten Ingredients! List” I’d make sure there was one (or two) on her “SAFE! Gluten Free! List”.  We bought her a notebook and it contains both of these lists.  We’re going to empower Audrey to own Celiac disease, it will not own her and the best way for us to do that is to give her the information. 

Anyways, remembering that promise I did what I always do.  Wiped my tears, took a deep breath and hit Pinterest. 

Ourfamilystone Keep Calm &Pinterest On

Within minutes I found gluten free goldfish cracker recipes.  I read through many, saved some I liked, passed by others I didn’t, and went back to my original (gluten) recipe.  I put two and two together, looked at the ingredients I had and got started.

The recipe is so simple.  It’s very similar to what you’ve probably seen a dozen other places and while cutting them out is a little bit tedious, it’s well worth the effort.

My family loves them! 

When they came out of the oven it was bedtime and both girls keep trying to smuggle them upstairs to keep munching!

Gluten Free Cheddar Crackers (like Annie's Bunnies/Goldfish) Recipe
A homemade Gluten Free version of the favourite Cheddar Annie's bunnies or goldfish crackers. So easy & so delicious!
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Ingredients
  1. 3.5 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Medium works but sharp gives a stronger cheese flavour)
  2. 4.5 tbsp Salted Butter - cubed and COLD
  3. 1 1/4 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I used my homemade blend, recipe below)
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (this really makes the crackers!)
  6. 1/4 tsp Garlic powder (reduce if desired)
  7. 1/8 tsp Paprika (DO NOT OMIT!)
  8. 2-4 TBSP Ice Cold Water (with ICE)
Instructions
  1. Pre-Heat Oven to 375°
  2. 1. In the bowl of your food processor with your metal blade combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the ice water
  3. 2. Pulse in short bursts until mixture resembles coarse sand
  4. 3. Add water 1 tbsp at a time and process your mixture at a regular speed for 1 minute, if it doesn't come together add an additional tbsp and repeat.
  5. 4. Once you've reached a dough consistency, scrape out and work a few times with your hands until a ball forms.
  6. 5. Divide dough into two parts, flatted into discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minute or freeze for 10 (NO longer!)
  7. 6. Roll out small sections of dough between two pieces of parchment paper until they're 1/8" thick. To make cutting shapes out easier place back into the fridge for a few minutes.
  8. 7. Remove top parchment paper, cut out desired shapes and transfer them to a baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet. (This is easier if you use a thin metal spatula)
  9. 8. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the edges are slightly brown or until they look a little flaky (see notes)
  10. 9. Remove from oven and transfer crackers to a clean, cool baking pan and let cool
  11. 10. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. (Though I'm betting they'll be long eaten before then!)
Notes
  1. **Don't be alarmed if they appear wet when they are baking, that's supposed to happen. They won't melt, they will crisp up and be delicious!
Our Family Stone Light Gluten Free Flour Blend
  1. 2 Cups White Rice Flour (or Sweet White Rice Flour)
  2. 2 Cups Brown Rice Flour
  3. 2/3 Cup Tapioca Starch
  4. 1 1/3 Cup Potato Starch (NOT Potato Flour)
  5. Sift flours together and store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Free Eats Food
Adapted from Free Eats Food
Our Family Stone http://www.ourfamilystone.org/

If you make any of our recipes we’d LOVE to see them! Send us a photo of your creation on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #ofsbakes.

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Audrey Update: The First Diagnosis

by Ashley on February 10, 2015

in Audrey, Celiac Disease

photo(7)After 5 years of questions, pain, suffering and more doctors than I can count we have received our first diagnosis for Audrey.  Before I get into the details of what that is I need to make a huge request from you all:

Please no advice, no shared stories, no “I know how you feels”.  I realize that everyone’s hearts are so well meaning, and always good intentioned.  You each have your own story & journey, and while I value what you’ve learned along the way I’m not in a good place to receive it, at least not right now.  No two people face the same things in life and right now, I need to work on how we are going to face ours.   I appreciate the love & compassion, those kind words will always be something I love and welcome – just for now, please no advice.

Today, Audrey was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

Back in late October Audrey began showing serious symptoms of fatigue again, pain in her head and tummy pain.  We once again made the trip to our Pediatrician, she ran a gamut of tests, including the one that tests for Celiac disease.

This test has been run many, MANY times before and has always come back negative.  Running it this time was an after thought and one we assumed would come back the same.

It didn’t. 

The levels it came back at where much, much higher than normal and from there it’s been a whirlwind of Children’s hospital, urgent biopsies and today diagnosis.

Hearing those words shifted my world upside down.  I truly didn’t believe Celiac was what we were facing.  I’m also feeling intensely overwhelmed at the moment, this is going to take a while to process.

Here’s what Dr.I said when he called today (some he told us when we met in his office, per-diagnosis):

– Audrey’s biopsy came back positive for Celiac disease and due to the nature of her symptoms and the results, starting tonight we had to implement her strict gluten free diet

– Her Celiac is relatively new.  While she always carried the gene for it, it’s only become active in the last year (which was when her last test came back negative) and it isn’t what has caused the things that have landed her in hospital to date.

– They don’t know what causes Celiac to become “active” in a person sometimes it’s an intense illness (like what’s had her in hospital before) that shocks the immune system and kicks it in.

– Hopefully our immediate changes to her diet, lifestyle, including what touches her skin will begin to show us results within 2 weeks

– If some of the other symptoms persist we are still in for more doctors and tests to identify if there is a secondary illness causing them

– Bethany will need to be testes for Celiac as well.  Since it is a genetic disease she has a 1/30 chance of also having it.

– Children’s has a dietician who will be contact me in the next few weeks to help us learn this new world

What I know:

– For a while this is going to be hard but it will get better.

– Eating in this house is going to be tricky at best.  Most of what Audrey will be able to eat is danger food for me, corn is one of the main subs for gluten. 

– School is going to be hard for a while but we’ll adapt

– Even though I’m frustrated, God is still good.  He still loves us, and His purpose in all this will shine through, it will only take time.

– I will forever be thankful that nobody told me she was dying today, they aren’t taking her away from me, and Celiac is something we can control.

– It is a massive blessing that Audrey’s favourite foods are chickpeas, hummus and veggies.

After I hung up with Dr. I today I cried.  I cried harder  than I have cried in a very, very long time.  I needed those tears, I needed to mourn and then I needed to pull up my socks and carry on.

Audrey is handling this new beautifully as is Bethany, they are a “team” and this is another thing they want to face together.

 We’ve told them God has made us each special and that this is another way Audrey’s body is special.  We’ve given this diagnosis to her and we’re going to teach her to own it.  She’s a knowledge based kid and the more she knows the more power she has.  And if you know anything about Audrey you know that she loves her some power!

Again friends, thank you so much for the love, the prayers, the support and so many other things.  You are incredible gifts to us that we will eternally be thankful for. 

Our road with Audrey’s health hasn’t ended, we know there is more that lay ahead but for the first time in her tiny life we have the makings of a planned course.  It may still be the bumpy path of gravel but somewhere up ahead is the pavement, and one day things will begin to smooth out.

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