One of my favorite kitchen challenges is making homemade versions of store-bought treats. Not to get all preachy, but I’d rather not eat something I can’t pronounce. And I’m not a big fan of partially-hydrogenated anything.
So despite the fact that I just bought a box of caramel delites at the Harvard T-stop (don’t call me a hypocrite; it’s for the children!) we really don’t have that many boxed treats laying around. But Gabe and I are both humans, and humans need snacks.
Enter homemade graham crackers. I love being able to eat a slightly sweet treat while knowing that it’s made by my hands rather than a conveyer belt. This version has a twist, based solely on the fact that I ran out of honey before baking them: maple syrup! Try ’em! They’re slightly sweet, all whole wheat, and pretty neat. Can’t be beat.
Maple Graham Crackers
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar*
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 8 Tbs. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey, for a more traditional taste)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 Tbs. vanilla extract
Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a pastry blender and mix by hand). Mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and mix on low until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough comes together. (You may have to knead it by hand for a minute or two.) Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Working with half the dough at a time, 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.) Using a pastry wheel or cookie cutter, cut the graham crackers into your desired shape.
Place the crackers on cookie sheets and decorate by using a wooden skewer to press a line down the middle and poke dots into the crackers.
Bake at 350° F for 12-15 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on cookie sheets.
Makes about 4 dozen 2-inch squares.
*Note: I’ve made this recipe with as little as 1/4 cup brown sugar and it still turned out great. I find that the less sugar I eat, the less I like it anyway!
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen