I absolutely love trying recipes that allow me to bake things I'd normally buy prepackaged at the store. It's not that I'm opposed to prepackaged things - sometimes it's just easier and I'm all about making life easier. I just love the feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing that if I wanted to I could pass right by that prepackaged item, head home and make it in my own kitchen (and most of the time it'd be cheaper and far more tasty)!
Graham crackers have been on my list of things to try for a while and I've bookmarked numerous recipes, but didn't finally get around to making them until seeing them on Kristin's site, The Kitchen Sink, recently. I want to make pretty much everything Kristin posts lately but the real reason I stop by her site is for her writing. She's got a way with words that I really envy and her posts always seem so effortless. But anyway, I digress...
If you like the graham crackers you can buy at the supermarket, I think you'll love these. I tend to use the store-bought variety mainly for baking, grinding them up to use as crusts for cheesecakes and other treats. They don't hold much appeal as snack material, but these definitely did. They're more buttery than the prepackaged variety, but with the same crunch and crumb. My first thought upon sampling one was "yum - shortbread." The recipe is simple to throw together and I love that Kristin's adaptation to the original recipe makes these look just like the ones from the store - ok, maybe just a bit more homemade with my uneven cutting job but still cute. These graham crackers made me wish it was summer so I could go outside, toast marshmallows over a fire and make s'mores but since it's not I guess I'll just have to make them again in 6 months!
adapted from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco, via NPR (as seen on The Kitchen Sink)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, and honey. Mix on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. In two additions, add the dry ingredients, letting the first fully incorporate before you add the second.
Turn the dough out and flatten it into a rectangular shape, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to 2 days. (The dough can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unwrap the chilled dough, and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Using a ruler and a pastry cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 3-by-3-inch squares; use a spatula to transfer the rectangles to the prepared baking sheets as you go. Reroll the scraps of dough once, and cut out more cookies. Using a paring kninfe, gently score each square to create a line down the middle, taking care not to cut all the way through the dough. Using a fork, pierce each rectangle with two rows of six to eight marks.
Bake the graham crackers, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until they are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
The graham crackers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.