A little over a month ago I was grocery shopping and couldn't help but notice the displays of Hershey bars and marshmallows by the registers. S'mores season had clearly arrived! I grabbed both, with plans to surprise Shane with s'mores later that weekend. Of course, it wasn't until I set out to make them that I realized we didn't actually have any graham crackers - epic s'mores fail. We never snack on graham crackers so I only have them on hand when I'm going to make a graham cracker crust, which is something you think might have occurred to me while I was out, but no...
We live within 10 minute of several grocery stores so it would have been easy to jump in the car and go buy a box, but I decided instead to use the opportunity to make the graham crackers from scratch using a recipe I'd flagged just a few days earlier. This was actually my second time trying a homemade version, the first having been several years ago. Those were really tasty, but I thought this recipe showed even a little more promise since it used graham flour rather than the whole wheat called for by the first version. By the way, if you aren't sure where to find graham flour, I usually buy the Bob's Red Mill version which is readily available at most of the stores by me.
The best part of making things at home that you'd normally buy prepackaged in your store is of course that you know and are controlling every single thing that goes into the recipe. These graham crackers only call for 7 ingredients, whereas one of the boxes I checked at my store recently had at least 15, including 2 or 3 I couldn't pronounce. There are other advantages too, though, and next on my list is that the homemade version usually tastes a lot better. That was certainly the case with these graham crackers! Like I said, graham crackers aren't usually a snack that holds any appeal for me, but I couldn't keep my hands off of these. They're buttery and really flavorful, thanks to the inclusion of dark brown sugar and honey.
And yes, we did finally get to make our s'mores that weekend. Those lightly toasted marshmallows belong to Shane - mine are always completely burnt, just the way I like 'em :) As much as I love s'mores with store-bought crackers, this homemade version really took them to another level.
Homemade Brown Sugar Graham Crackers
barely adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones (originally seen on Smells Like Home
7 oz (heaping 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
6 oz (1 1/3 cups) graham flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
Whisk both flours, the baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and honey on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes (scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary). With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and beat just until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 7-inch square. Wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 5 days). Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before proceeding.
To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Unwrap the chilled dough, and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter (or a ruler and a pastry cutter or a sharp knife), cut the dough into your desired shapes (I used a 2 1/2-inch fluted, square cutter); use a spatula to transfer the rectangles to the prepared baking sheets as you go, leaving about 3/4-inch space between them. Reroll the scraps of dough, and cut out more cookies. Using a paring knife, 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 a few times.
Bake the graham crackers, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until they are golden brown and firm to the touch, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and allow the cookies to cool for a minute or two before removing them to the racks to cool completely. The cookies will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.