Homemade Graham Crackers

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First of all, it feels fantastic to be back to baking!  Now that we are a family of four, I find that there just isn’t enough time in the day, particularly uninterrupted time in the kitchen.  Sometimes however, a sweet tooth can drive your focus and become quite a powerful force to deal with.  These constant impulses and sweet cravings have once again captured my senses and brought me back into the kitchen emphatically.  With this said, my focus and attention are still guided by my little ones.  Therefore, I feel that I owe it to them to highlight a kid-friendly dessert for this post.

With the craziness of daily life, I feel that I’ve recently fallen victim to the vast array of convenience foods that I’ve relentlessly made such an effort to avoid in the past.  It’s so easy to grab a few prepared snacks for the kids; crackers, cookies, snack bars, etc.  In an effort to put myself at ease about this latest crutch of mine, why not at least attempt to make some of these oh-so-desired snacks from scratch??

These crackers are really more like a cookie and they are so simple yet incredibly versatile.  The ingredients come together quickly and the texture and taste are far superior to those of the store-bought variety.  They are perfectly satisfying on their own, particularly to the kids, but I find that awarding them a dip into warm homemade chocolate sauce and a good slathering of toasted marshmallow elevates them to new heights and captures the attention of the grown-ups as well.

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Graham Crackers          {Print Recipe}

Yields: 40 1 ½” x 3” graham crackers

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup + 2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour

1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. kosher or coarse sea salt

7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen

1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover

6 Tbsp. whole milk

2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Topping

1 ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

To make the dough:

Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Pulse or mix on low to incorporate.  Add the butter and pulse on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla extract until well incorporated.  Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together.  The dough will be very soft and sticky.  Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour.  Turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick.  Wrap it well, and then chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

Roll out the crackers:

Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator.  Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface (you can be generous here as the dough is very sticky) and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8” thick.  Cut the edges of the dough to make a straight edged rectangle.  Working with a pastry cutter and straight edge, cut a strip down the long side of the rectangle 1 ½” – 2” wide and repeat all the way down.  Cut the strips along the short side of the rectangle 3”-4” wide and repeat all the way across.  You can cut the dough into squares or rectangles, or even use a cookie cutter if you prefer.  I cut my into 1 ½” x 3” rectangles and it was a perfect size. Traditional graham crackers are about 2” x 4”.

Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar topping.  Chill the dough until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer.  Repeat with the second batch of dough.  Gather any remaining scraps together into a ball, chill until firm and re-roll.

Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Decorating the crackers:

Cut a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut all the way through the dough.  Using the blunt end of a wooden skewer, prick the dough to form two dots (or however many you want), each side of the dividing line.  You can be as creative as you want here.  It all depends on what size and shape you make your crackers.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.  Be careful as they go from browned to quite toasted in a matter of minutes (I learned this sad fate the hard way.  Fortunately the slightly over-browned cookies made an excellent crushed topping over amazing hot fudge sundaes!)

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Chocolate Fudge Sauce          {Print Recipe}

Yields: 1 cup

3.5 oz. dark chocolate (70% cocoa content or higher), finely chopped

2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or dutch-processed)

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch fine grain sea salt

Place the chopped dark chocolate and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl or double boiler over simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) and heat until the chocolate has melted.

Once the chocolate has melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the light corn syrup, followed by the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt.

Transfer to a glass jar or heatproof container with a lid and serve immediately or cool to room temperature.  The syrup can be refrigerated for several days.  Simply reheat the jar for about 20 seconds in the microwave before serving.  You can reheat the chocolate sauce many times and the consistency will be perfect every time.

Recipe from The Sophisticated Gourmet

Toasted Marshmallow Dip          {PrintRecipe}

Yields: 1 cup

5 oz. (1/2 pkg.) large marshmallows

½ cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the marshmallows in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until nice and toasty brown.  Make sure to keep a close eye on them though as the tops can burn quickly.  With a spatula, scoop the toasted marshmallows into a blender (they will be extremely sticky) and add the heavy whipping cream.  Blend until well incorporated.  Transfer marshmallow mixture into a glass jar or sealable container and refrigerate until the mixture becomes more of a marshmallow consistency.

Recipe from Baked Bree

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3 Comments

Filed under Cookie & Bar Recipes

3 responses to “Homemade Graham Crackers

  1. Lesa

    So glad to see this yummy post! Three of my favorite things!!!

  2. Alexandra Pilgrim

    Wow!

    I have still not made these yummy snacks… they have been on my list of recipes for too long!!! But, I am glad it’s in my inbox as a reminder to say hi…

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