I've always wondered what are graham crackers. Some say that a good substitute for it is digestive biscuits, which we can get readily over here in Singapore. I've yet to see graham crackers in the grocery stores so I've always been curious to how it taste like.
I've bookmarked a few graham cracker recipes for ages now and decided to just try it out one weekend as I was craving for a non-chocolatey cookie.
Graham crackers in the making...
The cookies were really quite different from digestive biscuits. There was a fuller flavour to it (rather than the bland tasting digestive) - probably attributed by the honey? The honey and cinnamon tones were apparent and I quite like how it tasted. I forgot to dust the crackers with the cinnamon sugar topping that I had prepared, so I sort of sprinkled some after removing the crackers from the oven, hoping that the sugar will stick. Alas, my plan failed. But it's okay. For the second tray, I sprinkled the sugar pre-oven and they adhered easily to the dough. Tastewise - I actually preferred the non-sugared crackers as I'm not a big fan of sugar topped cookies in general. But that's just my personal preference...
The recipe yielded quite a bit of cookie dough, so I froze half of it, and baked the remaining batch. I reckon I can save the frozen dough for future uses - in s'mores making, making ice cream (I mixed some into a vanilla bean ice cream my Sis made and it turned out quite yummy albeit a lil sweet as the vanilla ice cream base was already a lil sweet on its own), or even a base for cheesecakes? I'm actually craving for a good slice of cheesecake recently. Perhaps a cheesecake in the near future then.
Graham crackers (adapted from Deb at Smitten Kitchen)
375g all-purpose flour (a swap of 1/2 cup with whole wheat flour or 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour works well here, too)
176g dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (4 grams)
100g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen
77 grams milk
2 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (43 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground cinnamon
Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse or 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. 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 or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.
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 flour as necessary. 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.
Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.
Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough. Using a toothpick or skewer , prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.
Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.