Oh, the graham cracker: a nostalgic snack, a vessel, a crunchy cousin to sandwich bread. But how often is the graham cracker a star that stands on its own? I’d say very rarely. For me, graham crackers have never been anything special. In fact, there were only two occasions I would ever use them: 1) to make s’mores or 2) to make a graham cracker crust. They’re not bad-tasting, they just aren’t anything special. There’s many other snacks I’d rather expend calories on.
All that applies to store-bought graham crackers, but homemade was something I’d never experienced. The fact that homemade is always better than store-bought is one of the only things I am sure of in life, so I wasn’t ready to give up on graham crackers just yet. When I stumbled upon Homemade Brown Sugar Graham Crackers on Tracey’s blog, I knew I had to give it a try. It could be life-changing. My entire belief system could be altered by one recipe.
Before you peg me as over-dramatic, remember that my life revolves around food. So changing the concept that graham crackers are not a stand-alone snack is kind of a big deal. Did this recipe succeed in uprooting an opinion that I’ve had implanted since childhood?
Gosh darn it, it did.
These Brown Sugar Graham Crackers kick the butts of store-bought. Comparing these guys to that cardboard-in-a-box is like throwing a scrawny sixth grader in the ring with a pro-wrestler; there’s no competition. These graham crackers are buttery and slightly chewy, with nice crisp edges, a major step up from the dry sandpaper that store-bought provides. These don’t crumble in your mouth; they melt. Plus, they’ve got just the right amount of sweetness, making them amazing on their own, but downright mind blowing when turned into a s’more.
I served these to my friends one night when I had them over for dinner. The original plan was to make s’mores with them for dessert, but one of my friends tried a graham cracker and couldn’t keep her hands off of them after that. They were just so good. We did have enough left in the end for s’mores, and I can’t even describe that experience. It was too delicious. Is there even such a thing?
Nope, definitely not.
I don’t care what your feelings are towards graham crackers; go make these right now. Expert cook or beginner, it doesn’t matter; they’re so easy to make, it’s stupid. It’s graham crackers like you never knew they could be. But I must warn you, after you eat one of these, you’ll never want store-bought graham crackers again. Don’t even bother trying.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Did I mention the best part about this recipe? The dough is egg-free, which means you can eat as much as you want of it without fear of salmonella. And once you taste that delectable dough, you’re going to be glad.
- Get creative: make s’mores, turn the crackers into the best-ever graham cracker crust, make an icebox cake, crumble them over a dessert, make a sandwich filled with peanut butter and bananas, or dip them in chocolate. The possibilities are endless.
- The longer the dough chills, the more flavor it will garner.
- A square biscuit or cookie cutter will make this go much faster, but if all you have is a dough cutter and a ruler like I did, you can make it work.
- I found these are much less likely to burn and more likely to achieve the perfect texture if you make them a bit thicker than a classic graham cracker.
- Parchment paper is your friend.
- Heaping 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 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 1/4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter (or a ruler and a pastry cutter or a sharp knife), cut the dough into your desired shapes; 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 fork, gently poke dotted lines onto the graham crackers. Bake the graham crackers, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until they are golden brown and firm to the touch, about 15-18 minutes, checking after 10 minutes. Do not overbake! 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.