why, hello Mr Graham Cracker, finally we get the chance to meet…
I get some sort of peculiar satisfaction from making biscuits (cookies) that we all equate with a supermarket purchase. I have made Oreo’s, Iced Vovo’s, Fig Newtons and Wagon Wheels, I have even tried to re-create a Tim Tam (and let’s just say that the store bought version remains far superior).
Somehow amongst all of this baking, I forgot one of the America’s most utilised cookies – the Graham Cracker. Granted the Graham Cracker is more humble than your Wagon Wheel or Oreo but it is so incredibly adaptable, not to mention a staple ingredient in so many hundreds of recipes, that it cannot possibly go ignored. I stumbled across this recipe a couple of days ago and it was all systems go.
These crackers are the real deal, baked to a golden brown perfection with a slight honey taste. They are so much better than their cardboard store-bought counterparts that I swear I am not going to buy them again – unless it’s for an emergency.
Are you thinking ‘is this it? I spend my time looking at this site and all I get is a lousy Graham Cracker?’ well, wait – there is more…
I have also included a recipe for cream cheese frosting.
Can it get any better than this?
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
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, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
To prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.
Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle and cut into equal sized rectangles with a knife or a pastry wheel (mine were approx 3 inches x 2.5 inches). Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough and left over scraps. You will need to re-refrigerate the scraps till firm.
Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using a toothpick or skewer, prick the dough to form a dotted row down the centre of the cracker (as you can see I added a few other dots too).
Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the tough, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
You should get about 20 crackers.
Notes: My crackers were actually cooked at 20 minutes so watch them carefully around that time.
Source:Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from La Brea Bakery
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 x 226 gram/8 ounce package of cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups of icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy. Mix in the cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract and when fully incorporated add the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy. Place in the refrigerator for an hour before using.
Spread the cream cheese frosting onto one Graham Cracker and top with another cracker – you will have one of the most simple and delicious treats you can imagine.
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.