I really should address the mountain of laundry sitting on my couch, or unload the dishwasher- two jobs that are never-ending around here. But I won't. Today I want to make graham crackers with Alice Medrich's beautifully simple and addictive recipe from Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, and pretend my sister and her family are still visiting for Spring Break, a visit that ran roughly ten years too short.
The itch for homemade grahams has been lurking for a few weeks, since spending a glorious Easter Sunday in the wilds of Shenandoah with nieces and nephews who grew up without asking permission; laughing, eating Mom's recipe for potato salad, doing headstands among the trees and enjoying fire-warmed crepes filled with Nutella, charred marshmallows and crushed graham crackers.
Two words, people: s'more crepes. Good heavens. This was a sticky revelation from which we will not soon recover, and is surely one to be repeated.
So, yes. Today I'll opt for crackers and a spoonful of the hazelnut-chocolate contraband tucked into the back of my tallest cupboard. Because if there was ever a truth in life it's this: family is the best, and goodbyes the worst-- second only to heaps of unfolded laundry on a living room love seat.
These crackers are so easy and delicious and they disappear quickly. Take my word for it and double the recipe. If you don't you most surely will find yourself walking into the kitchen to grab a second or sixth cookie only to find yourself forced to gather the last of the crumbs to satisfy your wholesome cravings. There you go, you've been officially warned. Also, try swapping the cinnamon for 2 tablespoons of high-quality cocoa powder and dust the tops of the crackers with a bit of sea salt before baking. It's a thing of beauty.
Great Cinnamon Grahams
Adapted slightly from Alice Medrich’s, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy
1 ¼ cup oat flour
1 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat of you aren't concerned with gluten-free)
¼ cup coconut sugar, plus 3 to 4 teaspoons for sprinkling
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter or coconut oil or combination of both, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 Tbs honey
3 Tbs unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flours, ¼ cup sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; pulse to mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
In a small cup, stir the milk, honey, and vanilla together until the honey is dissolved. Drizzle the honey mixture into the bowl. Process just until the mixture gathers into a single mass.
Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a 6 or 7-inch flat square patty. Wrap and refrigerate it until they are firm but supple enough to roll out, 20-30 minutes. Or keep them refrigerated up to two days; let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll one patty between the sheets of parchment paper until it is 1/8 inch thick (about 8 by 12 inches) and as even as possible from the center to the edges. (Try to avoid a thick center with thinner edges). Flip the paper and dough over once or twice to check for deep wrinkles; if necessary, peel the parchment and smooth it over the dough before continuing.
Peel the top sheet of parchment off. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Sprinkle the dough evenly with 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar. Repeat with the second patty. Slide one sheet of dough, with the bottom layer of parchment, onto each cookie sheet. Score the dough into squares, diamonds, or rectangles.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the grahams are golden brown with deep brown edges. Rotate the pans from upper to lower and front to back a little over halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pans on racks to cool.
Break the grahams along the score lines. Cool the grahams completely before storing, they will keep in an airtight container for at least 3 weeks.