So, tonight I'm going to walk you through the process in a few easy steps, and then you will totally be able to rock the homemade grahams too. My family adores them, even my husband, and I can barely keep them in stock.
If you want to cut back on preservatives, dyes, and hydrogenated oils in your kids' snacks this year, this recipe is your friend. I originally found it at this wonderful blog, but I've since modified the recipe a bit. Last time I made them I cut the sugar down to 1/3 cup, and no one even seemed to notice; so that's an option too.
- 1 stick butter,melted
- 4 Tablespoons honey (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar or sucanat (flavor and texture is best with brown sugar)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
So first off, you're going to melt the butter in a little saucepan on the stove. You can probably do this in the microwave, but I use the stove. When the butter is mostly melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla, water, and honey. Let it sit there to cool a bit while you mix up the other ingredients.
I keep it simple, and probably break all the baking rules, by just dumping all the dry goods (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon) into my mixing bowl and using the mixer to stir it up.
Then you pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
Give that mixture a little twirl too, until the dough comes together to form a ball. It should clean up the sides of the mixer, which only takes a minute or so.
I also use these little rings on my rolling pin to keep the dough an even thickness. I believe these yellow ones are for 1/8 inch thick dough.
I move the piece of parchment paper from the pan to the counter for the rolling, because it's easier, and plop half the dough in the middle, covered with another sheet of parchment paper.
Since you are only working with half the dough, it will not cover the entire piece of parchment, and that's fine. Roll the dough until it's an even thickness. The rings on the pin help with this part, but I've done it without them and it was fine. Just try to keep it about 1/8 inch thick.
Roll the other half of the dough out the same way and move the parchment paper, with the dough on it, back onto your baking sheets. Use a butter knife or a pastry scraper to cut your dough in the sizes you want your crackers to be. You are not wiggling the knife to separate the dough, just pressing gently through the dough until you reach the pan.
It's not rocket science, you can cut the dough however you like. You could even use mini cookie cutters if you want, to make animal crackers.
Does that pan on the left make you Penelopies crazy? Do you wish you could re-roll it and have perfectly symmetrical crackers? So sorry, chickies, but perfection has never been a hangup of mine.
Then you bake the pans in a preheated 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes (start checking after 15).
If you can't fit both pans on one shelf, like me, then you can either bake one sheet at a time (recommended) rotating the pan halfway through, or bake on two separate shelves and swap them halfway through. I bake them together, but the rotating is especially important to prevent burning.
Sorry that picture is blurry; my 19-month-old looked like he was getting ready to play Hansel and Gretel with the oven.
After 15-20 minutes, the crackers should be browned on the edges (I do the full 20 minutes). Pull them out and let them cool completely on the pan. They will seem soft at first, but will harden as they cool.
That's all there is to it. If I can make them, anyone can. Serious.