The Good Fight

Ok, fine, I admit it: sometimes, I cook things simply to prove that I can.

Case in point: graham crackers.

When I saw a recipe on Smitten Kitchen and started craving the cookies, my first thought wasn’t that I should buy myself some, as any sane person might.

Instead, my thoughts went something like this: Sticky dough?

Chilling it twice?

Yep, I can do that!

Cue to me, a few days later, fighting to find more counter space in my tiny Manhattan kitchen and covered in whole wheat flour. It’s about as attractive as it sounds.

Evidently, I’m a sucker for a good challenge.

That said, I’m glad I am.

These graham crackers are worth the effort. Just like the childhood treat, but even better.

Trust me on this one.

Once you’ve had them hot out of the oven and slightly chewy on the inside, you won’t be able to go back to the store bought variety. I can imagine them piled high with slightly melted chocolate and marshmallows. In fact, I think that it might be my go-to dessert for the rest of the summer.

Of course, now I’m trying to talk myself out of attempting homemade marshmallows. We’ll see how that goes.

Graham Crackers
Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

2 cups, plus 2 TBS all-purpose flour and more for dusting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
7 TBS butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup honey
5 TBS whole milk
2 TBS vanilla extract

3 TBS granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low to incorporate. Or, if you don’t have an electric mixer, use a hand held mixer, on low, being careful not to overheat the mixer’s motor.

Add the butter to the flour/sugar and pulse until it is well incorporated into the mixture. When the mixture is ready for the next step, it will coare and sandy.

In a seperate bowl, mix the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Once it’s combined, add it to the flour mixture and pulse until the dough begins to stick together and combine.

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper and dust it with flour. Place the dough on it and roll it until it is 1-inch thick. Wrap it and chill at least two hours, until it is firm.

When you’re ready to roll out the crackers, cut the dough in half, refrigerating the section that you’re not using so that this stays firm. This is a good time to mix your topping. Simply mix the sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.

Dust your counter/work surface with flour and roll out the dough until it’s 1/8 thick. Since the dough will be sticky, use flour as necessary. Using a knife, cut the dough into squares (Like Smitten Kitchen, I think 2″ squares work best).

Place the crackers on baking sheets and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar topping. Chill them for at least 15 minutes in your freezer, allowing them to firm up. Preheat your oven at this time to 350 F.

Bake the crackers for 15 minutes, until they have browned and are slightly firm to the touch, rotating the baking sheets halfway through.

Makes approximately 4 dozen squares


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