Monday, July 14, 2014

Craftsy Class Review: Homemade Salty Snacks

Craftsy LogoHomemade Salty Snacks sounds like my dream come true, considering that I'm not a big cake fan after doing them for so long. Give me a bag of potato chips and I'm happy. This class has sections on how to make your own salty snacks at home, and includes seasoned popcorn and nuts, crackers, vegetable chips, pretzels, corn and pita chips,  and breadsticks.

The benefit to making these at home is that you can use whatever ingredients you want to season them, and you can salt them to your taste. The drawback is the time element.

As she was making the crackers, I watched her and thought about the time involved vs. the time it would take my 18-yr-old son to inhale them. The cost/benefit analysis didn't come out in favor of making my own. This is the kind of thing that you would do if you were having a civilized dinner party and wanted something fancy to use for cheese and crackers before dinner. This isn't the kind of thing that you'd do on a regular basis if you have teenagers or a husband like mine, who can eat any type of baked goods faster than you can make them.

I had the same thoughts for all of the other sections except the soft pretzels, which do take time but are a little more substantial. I think that one batch of those would last a day in my house. Maybe two if I made them in the afternoon and rationed them out.

I also can't fry anything in my house because of the way the heat travels through the hallway. Any time I have anything on the stovetop it sets off my fire alarm, even if nothing is burning. So the sections on making potato and vegetable chips is sadly something that I can't do.

There's a section on stocking your pantry with seasonings, which would be good if you do think that these kind of snacks are something you'd like to do on your own. And she gives you a lot of tips on how to change the recipes that uses so that you can invent flavor combinations that you'd like.

This is a very basic class. I went to check what the full price cost was, and it was higher than I thought it would be considering that it really doesn't teach anything too complicated. If you're totally clueless about how to do this kind of thing it might be worth getting, but I'd wait for a sale. If you've made salty snacks like roasted nuts or puff pastry thingies before you might want to skip this one unless you get it at a deep discount. If you're interested in savory baking, take a couple of the bread classes I've reviewed before instead.

My final review:

Skill Level: Beginner, very simple.
Equipment you'll need: Spices and other ingredients.
Sleep-Inducing level: Not bad but it's a relatively short class.
What it assumes you already know: How to turn the oven on.
Unnecessary Level Of Difficulty For Techniques Shown: Nothing
Annoying Host Habits: Nothing specific, but the Craftsy microphone people really need to learn how to adjust levels so that you don't hear the instructor breathing.
Level Of Helpful Hints Learned: If you've never done this kind of thing before you'll learn a lot, If you've made any kind of snacks like this before it's probably going to be way too simplistic.

Click here for my Craftsy pattern shop, which has a bunch of freebies in it: A Cake To Remember On Craftsy


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at  www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

4 comments:

Allison @ Food and Stuff said...

I tried making homemade wheat thins once. It took me two hours and we ate them in 10 minutes. Annnnd they were not quite as good as the real thing! I bet homemade pretzels would be delicious though.

Kara Buntin said...

Yeah...the time involved in some of these didn't add up to the benefit of controlling the ingredients! That would be the only good reason to make crackers at home, or potato chips, if you ask me. The soft pretzels do taste a lot better when you make them yourself, and some of the other chip ideas would be easy, but the crackers...not so much.

Isaboe Renoir said...

I know you posted this a while ago, but regarding heat and your fire alarm; a long time ago I changed the way I fry (got it from Jacques Pepin) - fry outside. I don't remember what he uses, but I use an electric skillet and plug it in on my deck. No smell in the house, no fire alarms going off, and I can leave the grease to cool outside and pour it back in the container later for disposal. Hope that helps!

Kara Buntin said...

Thanks for the tip, I never thought of doing that!