Monday, January 22, 2007

Vegan Goldfish Crackers


In some toddler circles, Goldfish Crackers are one of the four major food groups. Now vegan kids and those with dairy allergies can enjoy them, too! Nutritional yeast and spices add a cheesy taste without the cheese.

But how can we make the crackers orange without cheddar? Well, how about using the same thing real cheese crackers use: natural annatto food coloring. Annatto seed extract is used to color cheese and many other foods; of course, you can use any orange food coloring you wish or leave out the coloring for crackers that are white but just as tasty.

Before you begin, you'll need to purchase a tiny fish cookie cutter like this one.

makes several dozen


2 ¾ cups white flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup canola oil, chilled in the freezer for at least 30 minutes
½ cup ice water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Orange food coloring, as desired
Olive oil cooking spray
Fine sea salt, to taste


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.

Combine the flour, nutritional yeast, baking soda, salt, paprika, cayenne, and onion powder in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle in the cold canola oil and toss with your fingers until the oil is incorporated and the flour has formed small to medium-sized clumps. Add orange food coloring to the flour mixture, if desired.

Mix the ice water and apple cider vinegar together and drizzle it over the flour, stirring with your fingers until the dough holds together.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead a few times, adding a bit more water if needed to form a cohesive dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out thinly, about 1/8-inch thick.

Cut out fish shapes using a small cookie cutter. If you would like to make happy fishies, use the curved tip of a spoon to give them a smile and a toothpick to give them an eye.

Place the fish on the baking sheets, spray with olive oil and sprinkle with fine sea salt.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden on the bottom. Slide the parchment paper covered with fish onto a wire rack to cool.

Continue rolling, cutting, and baking little fish until you just can't take it anymore.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

my roommate just may be able to kick the goldfish habbit with these!
thanks!

brnmsc37 said...

pure genius! i was just saying how i missed these...

Altissima said...

Great recipe! Fish shaped cookie cutter is not essential - it's not too hard to cut a fish shape quite easily, especially if you don't mind slightly angular fish bodies.

Jennifershmoo said...

Well, cookie cutters save a lot of time, though. I would go absolutely bonkers if I had to cut out all those tiny fishies by hand. It made dozens and dozens.

Of course, you can cut them out in any shape you wish using any small cookie cutters you already happen to have.

NightOwl said...

Bless you for coming up with these Jennifer! I was just at the super the other day, gazing wistfully at a bag of goldfish crackers. Can't wait to make these!

Solitare-Renaldo Family said...

Jennifer --

How long do the crackers stay fresh? How do you store them?

Thanks!

Jennifershmoo said...

Since I just made them yesterday, I'm not really sure how long they will keep. My guess is a few days at room temp in a sealed container.

But since my son is eating them so fast, I'm not sure we'll get a chance to see how long they keep!

Melissa said...

I just found your blog like a minute ago. Those are soooo cute!

Marie said...

Oh man! I've been searching far and wide for a vegan goldfish recipe, but for months there was nothing. Thank you so much!

red jane said...

Now I finally have a use for these little vintage aspic and hors doevres cutters!

oksana said...

i just made these and the taste of baking soda is so strong! are you sure the recipe needs one whole teaspoon?

Jennifershmoo said...

We didn't notice any strong baking soda taste in ours. The baking soda reacts with the apple cider vinegar, and the reaction between them should cancel out the soda taste. That's what makes the crackers rise; otherwise, they would be hard and flat.

If it bothers you, though, try 1/2 teaspoon.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm going to check this out. We're not a vegan family but I've been reading your blog ever since my toddler daughter was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening dairy allergy. Since then, we don't buy any prepared foods containing dairy, which has left her older brother goldfish-less :-) On another note: My sister (a vegan) gave me your cookbook as a gift. I must say, the lemon-blueberry scones recipe alone would be worth the book's price. Thanks!

Scott Hughes said...

My sister has been eating a lot of these green goldfish crackers lately. They look gross, but it doesn't matter because they aren't vegan. Anyway, I'll enjoy trying this vegan recipe for normal-colored vegan crackers. :)

Thanks,
Scott Hughes
Vegan Discussion Forums

Rita said...

These look delicious! Any way you could figure out the nutrition facts for these? Thanks :)

Dark Faerie said...

My husband and son ate goldfish by the pound before we went vegan two years ago! I can't wait to try this recipe out! Thank you!

The Thrifty Blogger said...

These look great. Thank you, I'm going to try these very soon. The best part will be watching my 3 yr old grandaughter cut them out. She's going to love this one! :)

slb said...

Great recipe! I made my first batch this afternoon and ate far too many little fish crackers. I went cheap on the cookie cutter, though, and have a callous on my index finger. Next time I'll just do as I'm told ...

s.

Anonymous said...

I can't eat yeast. Any ideas for what to sub while keeping them tasty?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I found these delicious. I didn't have any baking soda in the house (!) so I had to deal with them being a little flat, but they were still yummy! I added more spices- cajun, extra cayenne, garlic powder... They had a lovely zing to them.
I had to cut them out with a knife, and boy, that does get annoying. I made at least 16 or so before I decided to cook them and invest in a cookie cutter!

Anonymous said...

This sounds great for my son, can rice flour be used & safflower oil. he is allergic to wheat, corn, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts,

thank you

Gaile said...

I'm wondering if a blend of gluten free flours could work in these. I might have to give it a try! Has anyone else tried it?

jeena said...

Mmmm your recipes look delicous!
you have Great blog from Jeena :)


visit jeena's kitchen healthy recipe blog

Anna said...

Oh my goodness! The people who make the fish cookie cutter live in the same town as I do. When I went to the site I immediatly knew who they were. Small world!

Angela said...

agreed. Has anyone tried a wheat-free version yet?

jes said...

yum! I just finished my first batch, and they're very good! Cutting the fish out by hand got pretty boring, so I did some sticks as well. Now that I know I like them, I'll have to order the cookie cutter. I'd like to try a really spicy batch next. Thanks so much for the recipe!

sam-song said...

this recipe is great! i did do some substituting, and whole wheat flour gives it some color. this is great for any kind of cracker. and it's so easy! thanks for sharing your recipes with the world. i can't wait to try some of your sweets!

bbear24 said...

i am officially obsessed with your blog :) i've made these lil crackers twice and they last about a day in our house. my hubby made a fish cookie cutter for me so they are a bit longer than yours but just as cute! thanx for so many wonderful vegan ideas!!!!!!!

Kate said...

I used to practically live off goldfish crackers long ago. Just made these (but 1/2 batch and with different vingar since I have no acv). They're yummy! I forsee myself eating them in practically one sitting.
I think next time I'll use more nooch.

Shalom said...

Curiouse why you are vegan? my parents try tobe raw vegan, I eat a low glycemic. but trying toget my family to just be healthy. I did find a whole grain gold fish this week. very yummy, but not vegan as it does have cheese. Also noticed you use white flour? it has bleach in it why you use it?

Shalom said...

Curiouse why you are vegan? my parents try tobe raw vegan, I eat a low glycemic. but trying toget my family to just be healthy. I did find a whole grain gold fish this week. very yummy, but not vegan as it does have cheese. Also noticed you use white flour? it has bleach in it why you use it?

Ruthy said...

I love this recipe and I've tried it several times. I had no apple cider vinegar, but it turned out fine without it (is it an important addition?). Also, I was feeling lazy so I rolled the dough out in cookie sheets and marked out grids so my crackers were square instead of fishy...LOL! I love your blog!

Ruthy said...

Oh...I use unbleached all-purpose flour ....YUM YUM!

melanie said...

I just love this website, and wonder how I never saw this recipe before. How to make them gold without food coloring (bad, petroleum derived non-food)? I'm going to experiment with annatto, also known as achiote, also known as "lipstick tree". It has almost undetectable flavor, but has also been called "poor man's saffron". It's used, actually, in the production of yellow cheeses, for color, not for flavor. You buy it in blocks of the seed paste, pinch pieces off and soak them in oil or water.

Shana said...

I tried these and the first time I left out the oil! I forgot it in the freezer and they turned out REALLY puffy and more like pretzel texture. Anyway, I tried them again with the correct ingredients and they turned out pretty good. I think I will try them with MORE nutritional yeast and no baking soda. They need to be cheesier and flatter, in my opinion. But I am excited! This is a great recipe. I'm using it for Christmas and handing them out in baggies for my non-vegan relatives with the recipe. :)

m said...

Oh what a great idea. I'm going to try this!

Baby said...

Is the type of oil used important?
I have all of the correct ingredients except for the oil. I currently only have soybean.

Jennifershmoo said...

Canola oil, when frozen, gets kindof thick and viscous, and can be used in place of shortening or butter. I don't know if any other oil does the same thing, but you could try.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for sharing all of these great recipes. I just wanted to let you know that someone has copied and pasted this exact recipe for goldfish crackers on a vegan recipe site (vegweb.com). Violating copyright is so not cool!!

Sincerely,
A happy vegan lunchbox fan

maybelles mom said...

oh my gosh, how great. nutritional yeast is a favorite of mine. I will definitely be making this recipe.

Ginamarie said...

How proud am I??? I just made this recipe (she pats herself on the back...) and they are YUMMMMMMY! They have such a great "kick" to them from the cayenne, but not too much. I can't stop eating them. (Therein lies the problem as it's midnight- so they may be all gone by the time my son wakes up!) Doh!

I substituted with Whole Grain Spelt Flour, added a boatload of the nutritional yeast (I was going for a *really* cheesy flavor) and also tried adding tumeric instead of orange food coloring. It helped a little.

Jennifer- You ROCK! :))

Miss Information said...

Re: Oil replacement. I use coconut oil, which is shortning-like when at temps below about 70. so only need to put it in fridge while, or on the back proch if it's like Michigan in April (50s-ish). cocnit oil is also completely tasteless.

Rebecca
http://tinyplanetyum.com

Miss Information said...

Also: an all-natural orange food coloring in the ordinary liquid form (made from annatto seed) is avaiable through Seelect Herb Tea Company (appropriately - of Orange, California!). They are at seelecttea.com.

Thanks for all your work in making healthy fun!
Rebecca
http://tinyplanetyum.com

Apple said...

awesome! thanks>

Jen-Jen said...

Do you think it would work to use a combination of gluten free flours?

Hiya, I'm Kristie. said...

I made these tonight for my 18 month old son. We are new vegans and I thought this would be perfect for him as a snack. I did make a few changes. I used ha;f organic spelt flour and half white flour and I used vegetable oil because that's what I had on hand. It worked beautifully.

These are nice and light and have a little zip to them which I love. I just need to put them away before I eat them all and my son misses out. ;-)

Thank you for a great recipe and I look forward to your cookbook that I ordered yesterday.

Nik said...

I made these for my 2 kids. The 17 month old loved them... the 5 year old asked if I could please "put some flavor in them" I am so sad she didn't love them.

Deanna said...

What is nutritional yeast and how is it different form other forms of yeast?

My son is 9 months old. He has a dairy allergy (maybe dairy and soy) and we've just now started him on foods. He's loving squash! These look like a good snack for him later on...

Jennifershmoo said...

Here's the Wikipedia entry for nutritional yeast:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast

That should help explain it. Bottom line, though, is it's YUMMY. My son calls it "cheesy flakes". :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe, I've been desperate for a goldfish replacement ever since I went vegan a year and a half ago! Over that time I actually twice bought cheese nips while shopping with my roommate (so he could pretend they were his!) and guiltily ate them at home like a secret junkie. :) I'm going to try these with throwing in a packet of Sazon Goya, it's mostly Annato and it has some onion or garlic and either salt or MSG so it will strengthen the flavor too. I add it to tacos and it adds color and flavor so I think it would work in these as a color/flavor powder as well and go well with the cayenne.

Ann said...

I just made these. I used a pizza cutter to make squares like cheese nibs. I also substituted my 19mod's sweet potato baby food that she refuses to eat for the oil. And tumeric for the orange. Both helped make a nice color. And I snuck some veggies into her!

Jamie said...

These sound great!
Do you think I could just be able to color them with extra paprika and turmeric?

Jennifershmoo said...

It's worth a try! :-)

Anonymous said...

Do you think I could use olive oil, soybean oil, or margarine instead of the canola?

Jennifershmoo said...

Canola oil, when frozen, gets kind of thick and viscous, and can be used in place of shortening or butter. I don't know if any other oil does the same thing, but you could try. An equal amount of margarine would probably work fine.

Jamie said...

These were great! I had to sprinkle them with nutritional yeast to make them taste as cheesy as I wanted though.
And I had some trouble with the coloring (But I don't mind too much) I put in a tiny bit of turmeric and extra paprika, and that didn't seem to do anything, so I added a few drops of food coloring, and that didn't seem to do anything, they just seemed to get stuck in little clumps and not mix in well, so then I just added a bunch more turmeric, until I got the dough to be the same color (if not a little yellower) as goldfish, then I put them in the oven, and when they were done they were burgundy! Not really sure how that happened, I expected them to change color a little bit, but from goldfish orange, to burgundy was a little weird.
Oh well, I don't really mind, I guess I'll just be more careful next time and warn people not to do what I did.

Hannah said...

Going to try this recipe gluten-free. I'd love to have a simple snack like this when I'm out and about with the kiddos!
Will report back on how it works for us.

Anonymous said...

so if i were to use spectrum shortening in place of the oil would the crackers still turn out the same? i have a ton of shortening left over from the holidays that i need to use up.

Melissa and Zack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beckie said...

Mine came out kind of thick and doughy...any idea what I did wrong? Maybe I didn't roll them think enough or cook them long enough? The good news is that my two year old said they are "berry good" :)

Theeandersons said...

These are so good! I used spelt and all purp flour, added flax seeds and used dinosaur cookie cutters. Way healthier than buying crackers for our toddler.

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Term Papers said...

Goldfish Crackers are one of the four major food groups. Now vegan kids and those with dairy allergies can enjoy them,We should make this for our child certainly this is good for health.


Term papers

Beth said...

I am so happy that this recipe is here! Goldfish crackers have an immediate negative affect on my 5 yr old making him hyper and aggressive. Of course he loves the crackers, but he says sadly "those make me crazy and I can't control my body". I can't WAIT to try these!

Beth said...

I am so happy that this recipe is here! Goldfish crackers have an immediate negative affect on my 5 yr old making him hyper and aggressive. Of course he loves the crackers, but he says sadly "those make me crazy and I can't control my body". I can't WAIT to try these!

Karen said...

this looks great! maybe turmeric could be used to add color? might change the flavor to something other than the goldfish cracker taste though...

Jennifer said...

Oooohhh... I can't wait to try these!

Danny said...

OMG invention of the Century!!!!

I made them into cute little circles with those tiny little shot glasses churches use in communion. OMFG CHEESALICIOUS<3<3

my ones were a bit thick so they're like tiny cute little english muffins they split apart in the middle!! omg it took me ages to find nutritional yeast coz apparently in Nz its called savoury yeast or Brufax. SO WORTH THE SEARCH! theyr really spicy!!! prob coz i used diffrent kinds ov pepper instead of paprika and onion powder... I used cumin and coriander and mixed herbs.



AAAAAHHHHHHH so awesome XD XD XD :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Levi's Mommy said...

My allergic to everything 4yr old has been asking for Chees-its because his friends at camp have been eating them, so I'm going to make him some! Minus the food coloring/anneto (he is allergic to both) and substituting something for the vinegar (which is also allergic to!)