l had made marshmallows, which Walker doesn’t particularly like, so we needed a vehicle. S’mores are the obvious campfire choice, but I didn’t have a single graham cracker, nor had I ever seen one in any supermarket in China, ever.
It’s not a flavor that is replicated either. It’s sweet, but not overly sweet. It tastes like honey and cinnamon, but those flavors are really light. There was nothing I could find that even remotely mimicked the flavors of a graham cracker, and those beautiful marshmallows were sitting on my counter, looking awfully sad that Walker wouldn’t even try them.
I found this recipe online, and it seemed really straight forward. Graham crackers should be easy enough to make. At least it’s not a three day process! But then I realized the recipe called for dark brown sugar, which I didn’t have, and it was raining, so running to the store just seemed so unsavory.
I used light brown sugar instead, and added a little molasses to add to the depth of its flavor. However, I had already read that this dough would be very sticky and adding more stickiness hardly seemed the right thing to do. To fix this budding issue, I reduced the honey.
The end result was a very subtle graham cracker with deep flavors and a very pretty finish. Absolutely perfect for the s’mores!
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Makes 10 4 x 4.5-inch graham crackers or 70 2-inch circles
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counters
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
1/3 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
2 tablespoons molasses
5 tablespoons full fat milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Topping (Optional and this amount will make a heavy topping. I cut this in half)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor or electric mixer, you can cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender. Just make sure they’re very well incorporated.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.
3. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. 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 keep your surface floured. If you want a traditionally shaped graham cracker, trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers. Instead, I went with a 2 inch cookie cutter. I think they’re cuter this way.
4. Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough (again, this is for the traditional cracker shape). Using a fork or toothpick, prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.
“Our kids are going to be those kids aren’t they? The kids that aren’t allowed to eat s’mores unless they make them themselves.” He then promptly inhaled six of the graham crackers by themselves before dinner.
I’m not sure our kids will be those kids, but after tasting the combination of the homemade graham crackers and marshmallows, I’m not sure our kids will ever want to eat the pre packaged stuff again. Fortunately, both recipes were pretty easy, and made with stuff I always have around the kitchen!