Graham crackers are funny, aren’t they? Really, they are cookies that hide under the cloak of the “cracker” name. Never mind that they are packed with sugar, like any good cookie should be. As long as you say “cracker”, you can still feel a bit virtuous about having them as a snack.
I ate a lot of graham crackers growing up. Actually, who am I kidding – I still eat a lot of graham crackers. No, I don’t have children. I have a business, and one of my top selling items happens to include graham crackers as an ingredient. Which is how I find myself writing this post . . .
I was working on nutrition/ingredient labels for some products last week, and the ingredient list for your standard Honey Maid graham, are, well, a bit disturbing. I hadn’t really thought about making graham crackers from scratch before, oddly enough – but reading things like partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil set the wheels a turnin’. Then I wondered, do you have to have lots of odd ingredients to make graham crackers? You know, like graham flour or something? And as it turns out, no, you don’t! In fact, that hardest thing about making these is rolling the dough thin enough (which I didn’t).
There are lots of recipes out there that do use graham flour, among other things, but I found this recipe to be both tasty and delightfully simple, using stuff straight out of your pantry. The dough is quick and simple to make, and before you know it, you’ll be snacking on your own homemade graham cracker cookies. Minus the partially hydrogenated nastiness.
This recipe is straight from the Piece of Cake blog, which you should be reading anyway for all of it’s awesomeness. Pretty much the only thing I did differently was to roll my dough into a rectangle and cut it into squares, and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.
Graham Crackers (from Piece of Cake – http://www.pieceofcake.blogspot.com)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
Cream butter and sugar until fully combined, about 2 minutes. Mix in honey, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly mix in flours until completely incorporated. Form dough into a disk and wrap well in plastic wrap. Chill at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat mats. Roll dough to 1/8″ thickness–very very thin!!! Cut to your desired size and shape – I used square cookie cutters and then a fork to dock them into quarters. It’s easiest to roll your dough directly on the parchment or silpat, cut the cookie shapes and then lift up the scraps from around them, leaving the shapes where they are. Reroll and cut the scraps. After cutting the shapes, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. You can move the dough pieces around easily after chilling them – don’t worry about spacing them out as you cut them. After chilling for 15 minutes, sprinkle the tops of cookies with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar (or just sugar, or turbinado sugar, whatever you like) and place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10-18 minutes, until golden brown. Time will vary based on the size and thickness of your cookies, so make sure to check them often. Piece of Cake says this recipe makes 4 dozen 2-1/2 inch cookies – which I can’t verify because I ate a bunch of cookie dough. I’m a dough eater, it’s true. Sigh.
For cookie sandwiches (a taste of childhood!), you can frost with this cream cheese frosting recipe, which is my favorite, or for something a dash easier, just mix 8oz cream cheese (softened) with about 2 cups powdered sugar (more if needed) and a teaspoon of vanilla. Thin with milk if you use the full fat cream cheese – or if you use the 1/3 fat cream cheese like I did, you’ll find the consistency to be just about right (it will also thicken up in the fridge, if you like a thicker frosting).