Homemade graham crackers: big on taste

Thank you, Mrs. Abrams! You inspired my graham cracker journey when you gave me a Weckerly’s ice cream sandwich, most accurately described by my friend Elyse as a s’more for grown-ups.

Less than 24 hours later, they were gone.
Less than 24 hours later, they were gone.

Yours was my first s’more ice cream sandwich, made with artisan ice cream and homemade graham crackers. The first bite convinced me I would never eat store-bought graham crackers again. Graham crackers are easier to make than cookies, and the Internet is filled with recipes created, tested, and rated by professional and avocational bakers.  The secrets to a good graham cracker are butter and graham flour.

Trusting only prime ingredients.
Trusting only prime ingredients.

I knew where to get the ideal graham flour: from Anson Mills. This Columbia, SC-based purveyor of handmade mill goods from organic heirloom grains cold-mills the flour and hand scrubs the bran to ensure smaller pieces. I am not certain what that means to a non-professional baker like me, but I knew from experience that Anson Mills products are wonderful. The flour I ordered would be perfect for making the crackers.

It took me only two attempts to arrive at the right recipe. Click her for the recipe.

On the cooling towel.
On the cooling towel.

The first recipe I tested was highly rated online and called for molasses. I like the chef who supplied the recipe. I like molasses, too, but this recipe did not work for me.  I decided to use the better-known ingredient of honey for my crackers.

Since some grocery store honeys are too strong for my taste, I often use a specialty honey. From Italy, where the slow food movement began, artisanal Mieli Thun  arancio/orange blossom honey is flavorful without the intensity I dislike. It provides precisely the right honey flavor in the crackers.

Use an electric mixer to combine the cracker dough ingredients. Then chill and roll as you would roll a pie crust dough. Because of limited kitchen workspace, I work with small portions of the dough. This limitation allows me to roll, cut, place onto a baking sheet, pop into the oven, and begin again with another portion of dough. I have come to think of my small work area as a blessing, rather than a curse.

More should have been baked.
More should have been baked.

Once the crackers are baked, they need to cool about 5 minutes in the baking pan before being moved to the cooling area. They will crisp as they cool. Once the crackers have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container.

How good are they? The entire batch was gone in less than 24 hours! Some people even wanted more than one cracker, though not to share with a spouse. (Right, Sandy?)

So sad I can not share these with you.
So sad I can not share these with you.

I also experimented with s’more cookie cups, using the same dough, marshmallow crème, and Hershey’s chocolate. After baking in the oven, the cookie cups were filled with the marshmallow crème, topped with a chocolate piece, and placed under the broiler to toast. I gave two of these cookie cups to my friend John, who claims he shared them with his wife. Christine has not said anything about them, and I suspect John did not share. He’s like that.

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