Monday, June 11, 2012
old-fashioned graham crackers
I should start out by saying that graham crackers are nothing I ever really think about until there is a campfire, a bag of marshmallows and couple Hershey bars involved. Sure, they can be a fine snack. Just not one I gravitate towards on their own. I want them to be the vehicle behind my lovely perfectly charred marshmallow and soon to be melted chocolate. Otherwise, I can leave them.
These crackers on the other hand? Well it insulting really to put them in the same category as the store bought version. These are just..well better. That's it. Hands down. Not even a contest. Where have these crackers been all my campfire days? Oh Smores you don't know what has hit you this summer. I beg you to try and make these at least once this summmer. Put down that blue box with their brown paper wrapped crackers inside. Walk away. Instead go get the ingredients for these. And say hello to a better smore. Or at least a very addictive snack. A snack you will feel much better about eating.
This was the first recipe in the book, One Girl Cookie. I borrowed the book from the library in a feeble attempt to save money and stop buying so many cookbooks! Yes, folks. I admit it. I have a problem. A cookbook buying problem. There I said it. I feel so much better now. Doing something about this problem..well that will just have to wait for another day. This was just a warm, fuzzy, comforting cookbook if cookbooks can be described that way. Each recipe had a name, a story, that you immediately fell in love with each one and the owners of this bakery in Brooklyn. I really do like this cookbook. Perhaps I will put this in my Amazon Shopping Cart. Don't judge me.
My little tip for making these crackers is this: If you own a silipat baking mat, put that down underneath your first piece of parchment paper. It will help prevent the paper from sliding around you and yelling out profanities you aren't proud of.
Also, after you roll and cut them out, place them on your cookie sheet, pop them back in the refrigerator. If you are like me, I never seem to work fast enough in this area and my dough always softens up. I hate when they say, work fast before your dough becomes too soft! Ugh the pressure! I just can't deal with that. My kitchen time is my sanity, get back to center time, not wreak extra havoc on my already busy life! So do what I did, work at your own pace and then use the fridge as your friend. Boy, I sound like a teacher don't I?
I think I'll go pop a few of these in my lunchbox.
Old Fashioned Graham Crackers
Makes 24 Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add a third of the flour mixture and 1/4 up of water. Mix for 30 seconds. Repeat this step once, then add the remaining flour mixture and mix just to combine. Turn the dough out onto a a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 10 seconds. Divide the dough in half. Cover one half iwth plastic wrap and set it aside.
3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface, put the dough on the parchment, and top with a second sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, peel off both sheets of parchment, and put the dough on a cutting board. Using a square cookie cutter, cut out the dough, rerolling the scraps twice. Put the cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of turbinado sugar. (Please note: I did not have turbinado sugar, and sprinkled with simply granulated sugar to give it that extra sweetness.)
6. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, for 20 minutes, or until the cookies are a dark golden color around the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes to a wire rack to cool completely.