Monday, October 02, 2006

Mondays with Maida - Honey Graham Crackers

Page 162 in the old book / page 200 in the new book

My not-yet-perfected rolling technique resulted in graham crackers that were more like cartoon graham crackers than "real" graham crackers. Because they were thicker in the middle, each had a bulging waistline. Not so straight rows of fork-pricks contributed to their almost comical appearance. Well... comical to me anyway. No one else seemed to notice.

They did notice that these graham crackers weren't much like store-bought. The biggest difference was textural - the crackers were fairly thick and therefore not very crunchy. They also softened up over the course of the day, since the box they were in was left uncovered most of the time.

Rather than chilling the dough and then rolling it out on a floured pastry cloth as instructed in the recipe, I was feeling lazy and decided to try rolling the dough between sheets of wax paper before chilling. I marked out the 15 by 5 inch oblong on my counter with freezer tape rolled each portion of the dough and then placed it and the wax paper on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator. It worked very well and was much easier than pounding away on chilled dough. The wax paper peeled away from the dough quite easily. Only one problem... which I'm just now realizing. I'm pretty sure I divided the dough into thirds rather than fourths. Which explains why the crackers were too thick.

Between the error I made rolling out the dough and the fact that I had to substitute light for dark brown sugar, I'm thinking these graham crackers perhaps deserve a second chance. They had a bit of cinnamon in them which gave them an interesting flavor, but lacked the crunchiness you expect in a graham cracker. Apparently, that was my fault rather than the recipe's.

Here's the panel...

Suzanne: "The Graham Cracker wasn’t as sweet as the store bought crackers. It was also thicker and therefore not quite as crunchy. I hate to say it, but I think I Iike the store bought grahams better then this recipe. Somehow it was missing that honey taste. Rating - 2.0"

Denny: "Just a 2. Little softer than store-bought. I'm not sure if that's better or not. They were OK. Rating - 2.0"

Laura: "Thicker and 'chewier' than store-bought, but still tasty! Rating - 3.5"

Terri: "I have a true love of graham crackers since my kindergarten snack (50 years ago) was graham crackers with homemade butter! Yum! These honey graham crackers today were delicious, but slightly on the dry side. I had mine with coffee so they seemed a bit moister. Rating - 3.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 2.6

Next Week - Swedish Honey Cookies

Nutrition Facts


Rowena said...

Cathy, again you really deserve kudos for all the effort you put into Mondays with Maida! Reading your posts is making me both anxious and excited when I fly back home in a couple months for seasonal work. It's going to be a busy cookie season, hope I'll be able to keep up! P.S. Love that cute cookie image. ;-)

Cathy said...

Thanks Rowena - Have I told you lately how much I hate rolling cookie dough? ;) I think you'll be building up those arm muscles during your stay in Hawaii!

Anonymous said...


I think you're being too hard on yourself about the first thought when I saw the picture was, "cool...graham crackers!" I didn't notice that they looked different from store-bought at all...and I was impressed with the accuracy of your pin-prick holes. Good Job!

Anonymous said...

Cathy, I love your blog. Did you use regular whole wheat flour for the crackers or is it a specialty flour?

Cathy said...

Hi Alice - thanks! They didn't look bad, it was just kind of funny the way they all bulged in the middle. I definitely can still use some improvement in my rolling technique. btw, I've been thinking... I owe you a letter!

Hi Nonni - thanks very much! This recipe calls for a mix of regular whole wheat flour and all purpose flour, so nope - no specialty flours required!

Unknown said...

My compliments for making your own graham crckers, Cathy. Wow! They look pretty professional to me, and like Alice, I did nto notice they were not store-bought until I read on.

Great blog!

Cathy said...

Hi Mimi - thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Man, my mouth is watering after seeing this blog :)

I love cookies and sweet thangs way to much, I had to cut back on them cause my body wasn't agreeing with them :)


Cathy said...

Hi Dennis - thanks! I ought to cut back too!