Confession #74: The Toaster is My New BFF… Graham Crackers

by alexandra

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This week is an exciting week on the blog, because this Thursday will mark 1 year since I wrote my very first post. I’ve been thinking about how to celebrate this occasion, and I’ve decided to have a S’MORES WEEK! That means homemade Graham Crackers, homemade Marshmallows, and (if all goes as planned) something pretty tasty combining the two.

So, this past weekend I was up at 8:00 AM rolling out Graham Cracker dough, proud of myself for getting right down to s’mores business. All was going pretty well (aside from the fact that the first batch of rolled out dough stuck to the counter and had to be re-rolled) up until after the first tray of graham crackers came out of the oven. The next two trays went in, you see, and came out looking like they hadn’t baked at all. “Well that’s weird,” I thought, and I stuck them in for longer. Still nothing. Guess what? The oven wasn’t hot anymore. It gave out right in the middle of everything.

I can live with a non-working oven for a few days, but that moment? I mean I only had  8 dozen more cookies to bake. Grrrrr…. But because necessity is the mother of invention, I set our little toaster oven to “bake”, transferred the cookies from the oven racks to the much smaller toaster racks, and baked batch after mini batch of Graham Crackers until I was done. Turns out the toaster does an okay job. It’s somewhat unpredictable and seems to have a mind of its own, but right now, with an oven that sure doesn’t work, I’m warming up to that toaster oven.

The Graham Crackers, thank goodness, still turned out wonderful. They’re a lovely golden brown color and have a bit of a crunch but also a bit of a chew. At the same time, they have the same mingling of flavors as the graham crackers most of us have come to know. I can’t quite put my finger on what makes the flavor just right, all I know is that it’s right. We had a bit of a Graham Cracker-eating marathon going on at my house, suffice it to say these are pretty darn good!



Graham Crackers

Cook Time: 15 minutes

4 dozen 2-1/2 inch square graham crackers

Graham Crackers

These golden-brown Graham Crackers are reminiscent of those sold in stores, but tastier in the way that homemade treats always are!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cups dark brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or somewhat coarse sea salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cut into 1" cubes and frozen
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, dark brown sugar, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined. Add butter and pulse in until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add to food processor and pulse in until all ingredients are just combined into a moist, sticky dough. Turn onto the prepared baking sheet and, using another sheet of parchment on top, flatten into a rectangle about 1" thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, for at least 2 hours or overnight. (I chilled the dough in the freezer for a while and then transferred it to the fridge for overnight. It's easier to roll out if it's not really solid from being in the freezer).
  4. Line two more baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Remove half of the chilled dough from the fridge/freezer and place on a well-floured sheet of parchment. Roll out to a rectangle that is about 1/8" thick, flouring the dough generously as you go as it will be quite sticky. Trim the rolled-out dough to proportionally fit the size you want to make the graham crackers. I made mine 2-1/2" squares, so I made the dimensions of the trimmed dough a factor of 2-1/2" on both sides.
  6. Cut the trimmed dough into 2-1/2" squares, or whatever size you want to make your graham crackers. A pizza wheel and a ruler used as a straight edge work well for cutting the dough quickly. Place the cut pieces of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill until firm (and until you are ready to bake). This should take about 30-45 minutes in the fridge or 15-20 minutes in the freezer. Clump together the scraps remaining from trimming the dough, wrap this clump of dough in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge or freezer to chill again while rolling and cutting the other half of the dough. Again, chill remaining scraps, and then roll and cut each ball of dough scraps. Try to roll out the scraps to the right dimensions so you don't have to do much trimming, and then take whatever pieces you do have to trim off and press them into the center of the dough so you don't end up with any more scraps. Be sure to flour your parchment rolling surface well in between each batch of dough, as well as flouring each batch of dough while rolling.
  7. Once all of the dough has been rolled, cut, and chilled again, preheat oven to 350 F and position oven racks on the upper and lower (or second and fourth) levels . Use the blunt edge of a toothpick or a plastic skewer to poke 9 holes (3 x 3) into each graham cracker. If the toothpick or skewer starts to stick to the dough as you're poking, wipe it off with a damp paper towel after every few cookies. Sprinkle the tops of the graham crackers with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Bake for 15-25 minutes, switching the positions of the trays and rotating each halfway through the baking cycle. Be sure to check the cookies at 15 minutes, and bake only until the cookies are golden brown. They will firm slightly while cooling, so the best way to tell if they are done is by color.
  9. As soon as the graham crackers come out of the oven, you can reinforce the holes if desired by poking through them again. Allow graham crackers to cool and store in an airtight container.
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P.S. Check back soon for the Marshmallow recipe!

Recipe adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Riley July 9, 2012

The brave little toaster! I’m excited to see these marshmallows!
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brighteyedbaker July 10, 2012

I gave it a break halfway through all those batches of graham crackers. I was afraid it would be too much heat for too long!
Marshmallows coming up! :)

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Alyssa (Everyday Maven) July 10, 2012

Congrats on the Blog-iversary! I love making homemade Grahams for my son – adding in the toaster sounds like quite the adventure!
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brighteyedbaker July 10, 2012

Yup! Quite the adventure that makes me want my oven back haha :)
Thank you!!

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Paige *novicebaker July 11, 2012

Why do you use frozen butter cubes? Do they still mix in well with the batter? I guess I was always taught to use room temperature butter when baking.

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brighteyedbaker July 11, 2012

Many baking recipes do use room temperature butter, but in this case I think the purpose may be for the butter to stay in small clumps and not mix into the batter completely. You might seen some visible pieces of butter when you take the dough out of the food processor, but once you roll the dough out and bake it will be fine.

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Venee July 14, 2012

I love Graham Crackers! This images makes me go crazy to buy graham crackers again and do a Mango Float at home … Love your post! :) Thanks for sharing!
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brighteyedbaker July 14, 2012

Thanks! I’ve never heard of a Mango Float until now, actually! I just looked it up on Google. Here I was thinking Mango Float, Graham Crackers, what? Got the connection now.

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