Graham Crackers

I love graham crackers, so I’ve been wanting to make these for a long time. Graham crackers are just about the only packaged “cookie” that I buy because they’re the only ones that I don’t totally lose control around. I can eat a couple of graham crackers and be totally satisfied, unlike Oreos where I want to eat about 20 of them at a time. Graham crackers are in that perfect spot between healthy and indulgent and you can do so much with them like make smores or dress them up by slathering on something delicious. These days, I’m very partial to a graham cracker sandwich with nutella on one side and marshmallow cream on the other. So simple, so good!

But laziness has always stopped me from making graham crackers at home. It’s just easier to pick up a box at the grocery store. But when I saw this recipe in my favorite cookbook all my excuses went out the window because you can’t buy these graham crackers in the grocery store. They’re made with whole grain flours so they’re healthier and more flavorful that any store bought version. In the past, I’ve posted several recipes for snacks that are “just like” the store bought version but these are definitely not “just like” any kind of graham cracker you can buy. These graham crackers stand on their own.

Graham Crackers

If I had to name a cookie that these are similar to, I’d say gingersnaps. It’s weird, because this recipe has no ginger in it at all, but it does have molasses and honey and cinnamon and a few other spices so the taste is similar. I always find the ginger in gingersnaps to be a bit overpowering so these grahams are the perfect alternative for me. They’re not overly sweet either, which I like because it lets the earthiness of the whole grain flours really shine through.

This recipe isn’t difficult to make, it’s like any other rolled cookie dough. The only thing that’s a little finicky is having to cut the dough into rectangles and make all the holes. This is a fun thing to do the first time so everyone will be impressed by how much they look like the store bought version, but it’s really not necessary. In fact, next time I will definitely be using a simple cookie cutter instead of bothering with all that.

The recipe calls for two kinds of whole grain flour: Teff Flour and Graham Flour. I hadn’t heard of teff until I made these, but it’s easy enough to get from Bob’s Red Mill or Whole Foods or some other organic specialty food shops. Teff is key for the crispness of the graham crackers and it also gives them that lovely mahogany color.

Graham Crackers

If you’re worried about buying flour that you won’t use up, the Bob’s Red Mill website is a great resource because they list related recipes with all of their flours. And of course, I highly recommend that you buy the cookbook this recipe is from, Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce, because it has lots of other great recipes with graham and teff flour. (I especially love her Apple Graham Coffee Cake.) I promise I am not being paid to keep linking to this cookbook (see also my previous posts for Whole Grain Blueberry Buckle and Blueberry-Rhubarb Tarts), I just seriously love it and think everyone should have a copy.

And because of that, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is and do a giveaway! I’ll buy the winner a copy of Good to the Grain, 1 (24 oz.) bag of Teff Flour and 1 (24 oz.) bag of Graham Flour so that you can make your own graham crackers! (Note: If you happen to already own the cookbook, I’ll send a Amazon gift certificate for the same amount.)

Update: the giveaway is now closed. The winner, chosen at random, is G.g. Cesternino Baird:

I love graham crackers with creamy peanut butter. I ate it in the hospital after the birth of my 4th child and have loved it ever since!!

Thanks to everyone who commented!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. For instance, I’d love to know your favorite way to eat a graham cracker. By itself? With peanut butter or nutella? I need new snacking ideas! Next Tuesday, September 20th, I will pick a winner at random and announce it on this post as well as on the Back to the Cutting Board Facebook page.

To get extra entries for the giveaway:

  1. “Like” Back to the Cutting Board on Facebook (it counts if you’re already a fan, too).
  2. Tweet a link to this post about the giveaway or the recipe in this post.

Just come back here and add a new comment after you’ve “liked” Back to the Cutting Board to get another entry. If you tweet a link to this post, it should appear here as a comment within the hour, but if not, then add a comment with a link to your tweet. Good Luck!

Graham Crackers

Whole Grain Graham Crackers

adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

Cookies | Servings: 16 (5×2.5″) rectangles
Prep time: 45 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 2 hour 15 min

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham flour*
  • 1/2 cup teff flour*
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 stick (3 oz.) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. unsulphured molasses
  • 1/3 cup milk**
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

*I usually order specialty baking ingredients from King Arthur Flour, but their graham flour is also labeled as whole wheat pastry flour. Since Boyce specifically calls for graham flour AND whole wheat pastry flour in several recipes in her book, I’m going to have assume that King Arthur is wrong and that these flours are not interchangeable. Instead I ordered all of my flours from Bob’s Red Mill since they have a bigger variety of whole grain flours. You may also be able to find these flours if you have a Whole Foods in your town.

**Boyce recommends full fat ingredients in all of her recipes so use whole milk if you have it, but I used 1% and the crackers came out fine.

Process

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, dark brown sugar, baking soda, salt and the spices. Make sure re-incorporate any of the leftover bits from the sifter.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the melted (and slightly cooled) butter, honey, molasses and milk.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, stir well. Divide the the moist cookie dough and press into two disks; wrap both in plastic. Chill for at least an hour or up to 3 days.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease or spray two baking sheets.
  5. Graham Crackers

    Remove one disk of cookie dough from the fridge, unwrap it and place on a work surface dusted with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Flip the dough over a few times until both side are dusted with flour, add more flour to the counter. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Move the dough around frequently to make sure it’s not sticking. If it is, slide a pastry scraper under the dough and add more flour to the counter or dough.

  6. Graham Crackers

    Use a sharp floured knife to cut the dough into 5-by-2 1/2-inch rectangles or use a cookie cutter to cut into whatever shape you like. Transfer to the baking sheet, about an inch apart (they spread out a bit, but not much). To make them look like real graham crackers, slice the rectangles in half length and cross-wise, but do not separate the pieces. Use a fork to press holes into the surface of the cookies.

  7. Stir the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle each rectangles with a few pinches of the mixture.
  8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, turning the pans 180 degrees halfway through. They are ready when the edge is a darker shade of brown than the rest of the cookie. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack so the grahams become crisp. (If the cookies are not quite crisp enough, next time they either need to bake longer or be rolled out thinner.)
  9. Repeat steps 5 through 8 with the other half of the dough.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.