♫ Listening to: Boys Like You by Kids At Midnight ♫
Ever since I made a gingerbread carousel, I’ve had mixed feelings about making gingerbread houses. I LOVE making them, but I put all this time into them, and then I rarely end up eating them. This year, I saw some very disturbing savory houses on pinterest, and I thought, why can’t I make a savory house that isn’t made out of dead animals? And I could make it cute like a pastel gingerbread house instead of making it look like an edible butcher shop.
I never really hopped on the charcuterie bus, although I did make a cute one that looked like a deer to go with my bitchin sauce recipe. But the cuteness of a cheese and cracker version of a gingerbread house was apparently enough to lure me into the world of what my friend Josipa calls “shark coochie boards.”
This recipe makes 1 vegan charcuterie house.
Ube Cracker House Ingredients
- 1 ½ cups (240g) frozen grated ube (purple yam)
- 2 ¼ cups (270g) flour (I use unbleached, all-purpose)
- ½ tablespoon sea salt (I use pink salt)
- ½ teaspoon rosemary (optional)
- 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder (optional)
- ⅓ cup (70g) sunflower or safflower oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 80-100g water (just enough to get the dough ball to stick together)
Ube Cracker House Directions
prep time: 20 min | bake time: 60 min
You can make the cracker walls and roof pieces up to 3 days before you assemble the house if you want. Just let them cool all the way before storing in a tupperware.
Make a template for your walls and roof pieces using cardstock, cereal boxes, donut boxes, or whatever you have lying around. You can also just use a gingerbread house template. I like to make the entire house out of cardstock or cardboard to make sure all the pieces fit together before using it as my template.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Set up your food processor with the plastic (or metal if it didn’t come with a plastic one) S blade or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. If you don’t have either of these, don’t worry, you can make this dough by hand.
Process 1 ½ cups (240g) ube first to get it all chopped up finely.
Add 2 ¼ cups (270g) flour, ½ tablespoon (18g) pink sea salt (or any salt you have), ½ teaspoon optional rosemary, 1 teaspoon (3g) optional garlic powder, and ⅓ cup (70g) oil to the food processor or the bowl of a stand mixer or whatever you’re using to mix in.
Mix on high while you slowly drizzle in ¼ - ½ cup (80-100g) of water. You only want to use enough water to get the dough ball to stick together, so that’s why you should drizzle slowly.
Roll some of the dough on a piece of parchment paper or a rolling mat so that it will be easy to transfer to your baking sheets. I rolled my crackers to ⅙” (4mm) thickness because my rolling pin is european and doesn’t come with a ⅛” guide, but ⅛” (3mm) is ideal. The thinner you roll it, the crispier it will become in the oven.
Lay one of your templates on top of the rolled dough and cut around the template using a knife or chopper. If you can fit more than one roof or wall template, cut out as many as you can. These shouldn’t expand in the oven, so you don’t have to leave much room between them.
Remove the extra dough and add it to your dough ball if you’re worried about running out. If you’re not worried, you can just leave the extra attached and break it off when it’s baked. I’ve done it both ways and both work well.
Prick some holes in the crackers with a fork before baking. This will keep them from puffing up.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. While the first tray bakes, repeat the steps to make more house cracker pieces.
Take the baking sheet from the oven and use a spatula to flip over all the crackers. Return the tray to the oven for 15 more minutes. At this point, I usually have the second tray ready so I stick that in at the same time.
Take the baking sheet from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before you handle the crackers. If they haven’t started browning on the edges, they may need more time in the oven. My oven is quite hot, so 15 minutes was plenty of time for mine.
Cool the crackers completely before assembling the house or before storing in a tupperware for future assembly. Or maybe you won’t even make it to the house assembly because they’re so good, you just keep munching them until they’re gone.
I used all my leftover dough to make cute hello kitty and miffy crackers.
Vegan Charcuterie House Assembly and Decorations Ingredients
- 2 containers of kite hill chive cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon blue spirulina (optional)
- 3 watermelon radishes
- 3 purple daikon
Vegan Charcuterie House Assembly and Decorating Directions
prep time: 60 min
This is the fun part, so you can do whatever you want. If you don’t have access to a farmer’s market that sells the pretty root veggies I used, you can use food coloring to paint jicama or kohlrabi or vegan cheese for the roof. Get creative!
Mix blue spirulina into the cream cheese to make it pastel blue. This step is obviously optional.
Peel the radishes if you don’t like the spicy outer layer.
Slice some of the radishes with the thin setting using a mandolin and slice some using the thick setting. The thin pieces will be the roof shingles. The thick slices will be for cutting out shapes with the cookie cutters.
Glue all the pieces onto the house using cream cheese as the glue.
I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter - when buying the organic version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.