AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Concerns about salmonella contamination led Pepperidge Farm to recall four varieties of its Goldfish crackers earlier this week. No illnesses have been reported so far. The recall is just a precaution after a supplier warned the company that one ingredient, whey powder, might be tainted. Now, parents of little kids - we feel your pain, and we would now like to offer you a way to cope through this crisis - do-it-yourself Goldfish crackers. That's right - DIY. And the woman who's going to tell you how to do it is Casey Barber. She's the author of "Classic Snacks Made from Scratch," and she joins us from Clifton, N.J., via Skype. Hey, Casey.
CASEY BARBER: Hello there.
CHANG: So just how easy are these crackers to make?
BARBER: Well, I'm not going to lie. They are definitely not as easy as simply ripping open the bag of crackers.
BARBER: But they're still fairly easy to do. If you ever made a batch of cookies from scratch, you know the basic drill.
CHANG: Yeah, that's hard. I'm lazy in the kitchen.
BARBER: It's a project but a fun project.
CHANG: OK, what are the ingredients in this recipe, and what do I do with them?
BARBER: There's finely-shredded cheddar cheese, flour, salt, baking powder, a little onion powder for taste, milk, a little vegetable oil for texture and, if you've got it, some dried cheddar cheese powder. You mix everything together in a bowl by hand, no stand mixer required. Then you knead it out, let it rest and roll it out like you would cookie dough. It's very pliant. It's very easy for kids to work with. And you cut it out into shapes.
CHANG: OK, but I'm thinking most people don't have those tiny fish-shaped cookie cutters around the house. And it seems like that would be pretty essential to have these crackers look like itty-bitty, little goldfish. So what do people do if they don't have these little cookie cutters?
BARBER: It's true. The kids' happiness may depend on the fact that it is shaped like a teeny, tiny fish, which - you can buy the fish-shaped cookie cutters online.
CHANG: Oh, really?
BARBER: Oh, yes. Any fish in the sea you can pretty much get online at this point.
BARBER: But you can also do mini-hearts if you have one of those at home, mini-circles. If worst comes to worst, grab a pizza cutter and just cut them out into tiny diamond shapes. Do crisscrosses.
CHANG: So you bake these little guys for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. And the full recipe, so everyone knows, is on your blog, Good. Food. Stories. But I need to ask you the most important question. Do these really taste as good as the ones from the store? Are kids really going to be convinced?
BARBER: Well, it's really hard to fight branding, but this recipe has been around since 2013 and has been served to numerable children in that time. And I have never had a complaint or temper tantrum in all of my testing and trials, so I think that we've got a happy cohort out there.
BARBER: And it's a fun way to spend some time with your kids in the summer, too.
CHANG: Oh, yeah, totally. That's Casey Barber, the author of "Classic Snacks Made from Scratch." Thank you so much for talking through these DIY Goldfish crackers.
BARBER: My pleasure.
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