Every new year, it seems I renew my resolve in general to make more, and consume less, especially when it comes to boxed items at the grocery store. This year, I’m also trying to make my sugar intake meaningful rather than inevitable, so making most of what we eat is a big part of that. Anywhoo, this is a great recipe, whether you think of it as a healthy cookie or a sweet snack; I think the last batch lasted an hour before they disappeared. This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen’s 2009 Annual.
One more note: you can make these into cinnamon grahams by adding another 1/4 t. cinnamon to the recipe, and then sprinkling cinnamon (1 t.) and sugar (1/4 c.) on top of the crackers right before baking. Oh, and graham flour can be found at health food stores like Sunflower Market as a Bob’s Red Mill product. You can also use wheat flour, but it’s not exactly the same thing, so it will taste a bit different.
1¾ cup graham flour
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons light molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons of the water, the molasses and vanilla and stir until the dough comes together. If the dough seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons water a little at a time. You may need to use your hands to get the dough to meld into a large ball. (Alternatively, process the dry ingredients in a food processor for 3 seconds, then add the butter and process for 15 seconds, until it resembles coarse meal. Add water, molasses, and vanilla and process till the dough comes together, 20 seconds more.)
Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll each piece out between two pieces of parchment paper to a rectangle that is 1/8 inch thick and measures about 16 inches by 8 inches. Remove the top sheet and trim the dough with a knife into a tidy 15 inch-by-7½ inch rectangle, then score it into 18 2½-inch squares. Prick each square several times with a fork. [I find it works better to score them before baking, but then to do it again after they bake. They actually break easily this way.]
Slide each piece of dough and parchment paper onto separate baking sheets. Bake until the crackers are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. Let the crackers cool completely on the baking sheets, then break them apart along the scored lines and serve.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Makes 36 graham crackers.