Hurts So Good Crackers and Shorty Spice Tea
The last two recipes that I have shared with you, Christmas Crack and Slutty Brownies were both so decadent and over the top sweet, I thought the next recipe should be appealing to those of us who enjoy the spicy side of life. I posted a picture on The Skirt Girl Facebook page of some Spicy Crackers and I had many requests for the recipe, so I’m sharing those with you. I want to warn you that these are not for the faint of heart. They are spicy. I mean…really spicy. No. They are HOT! Of course the heat can be adjusted but if you follow the recipe to the letter, your lips are going to be burning. Not an altogether unpleasant experience. For that reason, I have named these little explosions of flavor Hurts So Good Crackers.
First let’s talk ingredients. There are a lot of them. Usually. when you see a recipe and it has twelve…yes, TWELVE ingredients you might just turn the page of that recipe book right past it. Wait… does anyone but me have actual recipe BOOKS anymore? With pages??? Anyway, my point is you should stop for this one. It is so simple. Quantity of ingredients has nothing to do with difficulty level. Basically, it’s a bunch of dried spices you probably already have in your pantry. Keep in mind that each spice is building a layer of flavor, not to sound too Food Networkish. If you left one or two out, it might still be edible, even good to those who have never had these, in all their twelve ingredient glory. But you will not have the depth of flavor that these have. So try not to skimp, if you really want the full experience. Besides that, these have dill in them…and anytime I use dill in a recipe I feel a little chefy…even though I know that a real chef would get all snobby about these being DRIED spices. But I’m just going to be honest with you, I use dried spices and herbs a lot. I know…I know….fresh herbs are better. But really…unless you have a herb garden, who has fresh herbs on hand all the time? I have a home and a job and a life. I do not have time for a herb garden. Plus, I have a horrible brown thumb.
Take a deep breath. Here’s what you will need:
Calm down! I warned you it was a lot of ingredients. It’s simple. Basically, we are just going to throw them in a bowl and stir. So first, you are going to put 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of melted, unsalted butter into a bowl. Just pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds at a time, stirring it until it’s melted. Mix that with a 1/4 cup of canola oil. It’s going to look like this:
Next, to the butter and oil add all the spices as follows:
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
I’m going to stop right here and say, don’t get these two amounts confused. I did that and had to start over. You definitely do NOT want a full tablespoon of cayenne pepper. So let me say this again, in bold print 1 TEASPOON of cayenne pepper.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper (I used freshly ground. Yaay me!)
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
It’s going to look like this:
Whisk that up. And … well … it’s ugly. But trust me, it’s gonna look better.
What in the world are you going to put this in? I’m glad you asked. Because I’m using a roasting pan. But not just any old roasting pan. I’m using my mother’s granite roasting pan. I think my mom has used it for over 55 years of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I want to make it clear, that is older than me. A LOT older. I had to throw that in there, in case anyone was wondering. My earliest holiday memories include my mom taking the turkey out of the oven in that pan. She also has made vats of Chex Party Mix in that thing over the years. You don’t have to have a 55-year-old granite roasting pan. Any pan large enough to stir the crackers around in will do. I just happen to be partial to this thing, for obvious reasons.
Now you are going to need two packages of oyster crackers. I’ve made this with Premium brand oyster crackers in the past. These came from….well…don’t tell anyone but they came from the dollar store. Yes, that is right. The dollar store. A dollar for them. And they are every bit as good as the Premium brand. Feel free to go cheap. Put those cheap crackers in your big old roasting pan and pour the butter, oil, spice mixture over the top of them.
Mix all this together. Make sure you coat all the crackers with the mixture. You can use a spoon. Or a spatula. But…
You are going to put this in a preheated 300 degree oven. Let it bake for about 12 minutes and then take it out and stir it. This time use a spoon. Put it back into the oven for another 12 minutes. Let the mixture totally cool before storing in an airtight container.
I bag them up in cute little goodie bags and give them as gifts. Just make sure that you label them as spicy on the bag. Some people can’t take the heat. We also keep these in a container for random snacking throughout the holidays.
Since it’s Christmas, I’m going to give you a little bonus recipe, in keeping with the “Spice” theme. I got his recipe from a coworker. She gave it to me in a little mason jar with a bow on it, this year. When I asked her for the recipe to put on the The Skirt Girl, she hesitated. Negotiations began. It came down to me giving her full credit and a snazzy name in her honor. So here it is….Shorty Spice Tea. It’s not just a Christmas thing. Make this stuff up and keep it in your pantry. She said she gives it to her kids when they have a little sore throat or just need a little warmth.
Here’s what you’ll need:
I know this is probably the weirdest hodge-podge ingredient list you will ever see. Here’s a few things you need to know about them before we start. In the south, you will rarely hear of any of us using instant iced tea for anything. It simply isn’t done. But in this case, we’ll make an exception. We did not make an exception on the brand. For the most part, we use Lipton down here. The lemonade I chose was Country Time brand because this was the first time I’ve ever made Shorty Spice Tea and I don’t know my lemonade brands very well. This was recognizable so I went with it. Tang…well…I don’t believe there is any off brand for Tang. I mean…it’s Tang. Right? Cloves. Make sure they are GROUND cloves. You don’t want to have those giant clove…nuggets floating around in your drink. And last but not least…Red Hots. I haven’t bought these since I was like 12. They are, honestly, my favorite part of this recipe. You cannot leave these out. You cannot substitute these for boring old ground cinnamon. Don’t even try it.
In a large bowl dump 1 cup of instant tea
2 cups of Tang
3/4 cup of pre-sweetened lemonade powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 box of red hots
Mix all of this up well and store it in an airtight container. After it’s mixed it’s gonna look like this:
You are going to make this in single cup servings. To do that, put some water in your favorite mug. Mine happens to say Live Laugh Love on it. It was a gift but, for the life of me, I can’t remember who gave it to me. Does that make me a bad person? My all time favorite mug is my “I heart NY” mug. But it’s for my morning coffee at work. It’s my “get in the game”, ” get my head on straight”, “let’s do this” kinda mug. My home mug is for hot cocoa and, now, Shorty Spice Tea. It’s my “relax and hang out”, “take your time”, “read a book” kinda mug. Anyway…water in your favorite home mug and stick it in the microwave until it’s as hot as you like your hot drinks. When its done, you are going to add a couple of heaping tablespoons of the powder to the water.
Before each use, you are going to want to shake these dry ingredients up. The ingredients do tend to settle and you want to make sure you get a little of everything. The amount of powder that you use is going to vary according to the size of your mug and your personal taste. I tend to like it strong so I go a little heavy with my tablespoons. When you drop it in the hot water it is going to bubble up and look like this:
Keep stirring and tasting. Add more powder if you want it stronger. Add a couple more Red Hots, if you want. Add some honey. Add some sweetener. Add whatever comforts you! Stir it until the Red Hots melt. While you are stirring enjoy that wonderful, warm, spicy smell. When it’s dissolved the bubbles will disappear and you are going to be left with this beautiful red (depending on the amount of Red Hots you use) spiced tea.
I hope you enjoy both of these recipes and that they add a little spice to your holidays. As always, I appreciate that you stopped by The Skirt Girl. This Christmas has been made even more special by all of you! If you enjoyed reading this post you might also enjoy The Skirt Girl’s Green Smoothie or The Skirt Girl’s Super Lotion
Merry Christmas from The Skirt Girl!