I know I recently declared that it was spring-like outside, but right now, it feels as though it's been raining forever. I love the sound of the rain, and I am quite amused when I get to walk home through the occasional downpour (even without my umbrella). I love the freshness in the air that can only come from a rainfall. However, it's been raining and gloomy for days, and the rain just doesn't have the same appeal any more.
As a consequence from the weather, I've been craving fall-like, heart-warming flavors, like s'mores made of toasted marshmallows, Hershey's chocolate, and graham crackers. Of course, I have no way of toasting a marshmallow, unless I make a fire on my condo balcony (this is probably against some condo rule...). That's okay, I could broil or microwave them instead. I've always been interested in making graham crackers at home, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity. I had no idea they'd be so simple. You can whip them together just like any other cut-out cookie recipe.
I was pleasantly surprised by the whole wheat flour and wheat germ that many recipes called for. Apparently, graham crackers got their name, not from some dude named Graham who created them, but from the "graham flour" that is used to make them. Graham flour was actually named after a dude named Graham (it figures at some point, there was a Graham involved, somehow!), and graham flour can be replicated with a mix of white flour, whole wheat, and wheat germ. The whole wheat and wheat germ, besides being extra healthy, give the crackers a more granular texture, and definitely add to the "chew" of the cookies. That's a win–win, if you ask me. I'm definitely going to keep a batch on hand at all times, just so that I am ready to make last-minute graham cracker crusts and microwave s'mores whenever I want to. I can't wait to play with them in the kitchen.
Yields about 30–40 square cookies (depending on cookie cutter size)
The original recipe is from Martha Stewart. I didn't make too many changes, though I worked in grams and baked them for longer. The amounts listed are from my weighing and measuring. Check-out the original recipe for the amounts in cups.
- 205 grams all purpose flour
- 125 grams whole wheat flour
- 43 grams wheat germ
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 234 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 144 grams packed light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp honey (I used my lavender-infused honey)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and honey until it is smooth.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients, and continue mixing until the dough comes together. The dough will squeeze together nicely between your fingers when it is ready, though it may still appear slightly crumbly.
- Take half the dough and form it into a rectangle. Roll it on a generously floured surface until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into squares with cookie cutters and place on a parchment- (or Silpat-) lined baking sheet. The cookies do not expand much in the oven, so you can pack them pretty close on each cookie sheet. Continue to roll and cut out cookies with the other half of the dough and the scraps.
- Freeze the cookies for 20 minutes until they are frozen solid, then prick decorative holes through each (I used my metal cake tester for this) and bake for about 10–12 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.