For some reason I’ve been into graham crackers lately. They’re just so good as a snack or dessert with a glass of milk, or dunked into a cup of tea. So I had a box of Honeymaid graham crackers in my cupboard. And then I ate them all. And kept forgetting to get more at the store. So I just decided to make them! I was chatting with my friend Ellise Pierce (author of Cowgirlchef.com and a new cookbook of the same name) and she said, “Wait! I have a recipe!” So she sent it and I made them! Now I’m going to tell you this: you need time. Yep, lots of time for chilling the dough in between steps. That is the secret to crispy, light crackers. Which are really cookies, if you ask me. And I hit a couple of speed bumps along the way, but hey, that’s how you learn, right? Want to try them? You should; they’re good. And S’mores season is almost here! Ready? Come on…
Okay, here’s what you need:
1 C wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour from Trader Joe’s)
1.5 Cups plus 2 Tbl regular all-purpose flour (white flour)
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 Tbl) butter, frozen, and cut up into small cubes
1/3 C. honey
5 Tbl milk (I used 1%; am sure you could use any percent!)
2 Tbl vanilla
3 Tbl white sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon, mixed together for sprinkling before baking
Alright, let’s do it:
1) In a Cuisinart or bowl with a pastry cutter thing (also known as two knives, one in each hand), combine both flours, the brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Whiz it up so it’s all mixed together. Now add the cubed butter and pulse it just so it like a coarse meal, like this, on the right:
2) Mix up your honey, milk and vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup and pour that in, with your Cuisinart on (if you’re using one), until it comes together as a dough.
3) Now, lay out a big piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board and gather up that dough and put it in the center. Mash it out with your hands into a large rectangle about an inch thick (just do your best here; it doesn’t have to be perfect). Pop another sheet of plastic on top and slide that whole sucker into the fridge for two hours (or in the freezer for one hour – but I don’t have that kind of room in my freezer). Mine looked like this (sorry, it’s a little unappealing in color, but at least you see how it looks).
4) Time to make the crackers! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take your dough out of the fridge and cut it in half. Put one half back into the fridge to stay cool. With the other half, on a well-floured board, roll it out thin, to, like, 1/8-inch thickness. Try to keep it rectangular (I had to trim off edges; I just gathered the scraps back up and made another fat rectangle to put in the fridge.) Now, using a knife, cut your crackers. They swell a bit in the oven, so I recommend a 2 1/2- inch or 3-inch square. Alternately, you could use a cookie cutter in any shape you want – go crazy!
5) Pick up the crackers and put them onto a baking sheet with either a Silpat mat (those non-stick, rubbery kind of things; love them) or parchment paper. Give them a bit of space between each other. Aaand, it’s back into the fridge again, for 30 minutes (or the freezer for 15 minutes). During this time, you could roll out the second half of the dough and get that ready for chilling if you want. Also – mix your white sugar and cinnamon in a little ramekin or dish.
6) Time to bake! Get the crackers out of the fridge, and get a fork. Prick them on the surface (not all the way through) – just like you see the dots on store-bought graham crackers. You could make designs if you want! Now, liberally sprinkle cinnamon sugar on each cracker (be generous, the flavor it adds is great).
And into the oven! Now – here’s where I stumbled a bit (yes, burning an entire tray of them; no judging). So, I recommend 12 minutes, and then rotate your baking sheet and do another 10 minutes. Check them – they burn quickly, and all ovens have their own personality. When they are golden brown, take them out, onto a cooling rack. Et voila – you have homemade graham crackers!
I made two batches, and I froze the rest of the dough, so I’ll let you know that turns out. Store these in an airtight container and they should last for at least a week. I love them for breakfast, with coffee. I love them with a dollop of Speculoos (see my Ode to Cookie Spread post!) or peanut butter, I love them dunked into a glass of milk. And I think they’d be great dipped into yogurt, or crumbled on top of ice cream, or as part of a yogurt or ice cream parfait. Or as a crushed up and mixed with melted butter for a pie crust! In fact, I’m considering making graham cracker ice cream. I could go crazy with these things! Let me know if you make them and how they turn out. Bon appetit!