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Spicy Password Crackers

Hack your next holiday party with this easy recipe


Spicy Password Crackers

Spicy crackers served with Pimento cheese

Photo: Christy O'Donnell

It's time to talk about a serious network security topic: Crackers. Traditionally, when we talk about crackers we are referring to criminals who crack passwords or other authentication mechanisms in order to break into someone's account or steal copyrighted software. Today, the holidays are upon us so we're going to switch gears and talk about actual crackers, as in the kind you eat. Security professionals don't eat crackers all the time, but when we do, we prefer spicy crackers.

I call these spicy password crackers because people like them so much that they would likely give you their password just to obtain one more of these delectable delights. I'm going to share with you this secret recipe that will make you the hit of your next office holiday party. It's incredibly simple but people will think that you slaved over a stove for hours. This recipe actually defies certain laws of physics in some countries. You have been warned.

Here is the secret recipe for homemade spicy password crackers:

The ingredients include:

1 whole box of Saltine crackers (4 sleeves)
1 and 1/4 cup of canola oil or canola/olive oil blend
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (The more expensive the better)
1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Dry Seasoning Mix (just the packet of seasoning only)
3 Tablespoons Crushed Red Pepper (the kind you normally sprinkle on pizza)
A Large casserole dish with lid or 2 1-Gallon Ziploc Bags


1. Take the saltines out of their wrappers and lay them in rows in the casserole dish as if you were setting up dominoes to knock down. If you're using Ziploc bags instead of a casserole dish, put two of the four packs of crackers in one bag and two in another bag.

2. In a small pitcher, combine the canola oil, olive oil, Dry Seasoning Mix, and the crushed red pepper. You can use less red pepper if you don't want it to be as spicy. Whisk the mixture together vigorously for about a minute.

3. Pour the mixture over the saltines in the casserole dish. If using the Ziploc bags make sure you put half of the mixture in one bag and half in the other.

4. Put the lid on top of the casserole dish or seal the Ziploc bags. Make sure you have a good tight seal on the dish or Ziploc bags.

5. After about 15 minutes, flip the casserole dish or Ziploc bags over to evenly distribute the mixture. Do this every 15 minutes for about an hour.

6. Let the crackers sit for at least 6 hours before eating. As singer Tom Petty once said: "The waiting is the hardest part". Ample time must be allowed for the crackers to absorb the mixture

Now I know your probably thinking, "Andy, this is the craziest recipe I have ever heard of. Won't the oil make the crackers all soggy?" The answer is absolutely not. I can't explain it, like I said there are some laws of physics that are being broken here. I also thought to myself when I first tried this recipe that the crackers would end up soggy, but by some strange miracle they are as crispy as if they just came out of the box.

Let me warn you, these spicy crackers are highly addictive. There is an actual 12 step program that exists just to help people who are addicted to these crackers to stop eating them.

What would compliment these crackers you ask? The best thing to serve with these crackers is a Pimento cheese spread from your local deli. If you can find one that has Jalapeno peppers in it then that is even better. If you can't find Pimento cheese spread then any cheese spread with sharp cheddar would be excellent.

As you can see from the picture, the crackers have a baked appearance to them, but this is just a result of the oil infusing into the crackers. There is no baking involved, but feel free to embellish to your friends and tell them how you made the crackers from scratch, poking individual holes in them and hand salting each one before you used your industrial cracker oven to bake them.

If you would like some more great southern inspired recipes check out About.com's Southern Foods site or About Home Cooking. For those of you looking for some extra healthy stuff visit About's Low Fat Cooking site.

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