Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I've had a weird relationship with cooking/baking lately. It has been one of my hobbies/passions for the past five years or so. But ever since Juliet was born the thought of being in the kitchen prepping a big meal or baking has been really overwhelming. I don't know if it's because I have less time now or what. But for example, when I actually do go to cook a meal or bake something, I'll look at all the ingredients on the counter and then the thought of having to clean everything up and a million other things run through my head and I get anxiety about the whole thing. This never used to happen. I used to love having an entire Saturday stretched before me with numerous recipes to master. Getting the yeast out and spending time waiting for bread to rise was actually enjoyable for me.
I'd like to get back there. I really would.
I experienced a glimpse into how how I used to feel when I'd bake last weekend when I made Juliet homemade graham crackers. I was actually excited as I baked and thrilled when they came out of the oven. I almost wanted to wake Juliet up from her nap just so could taste them right away. Don't worry, I didn't wake her up. I'm not that crazy.
So back to these graham crackers. They are amazing. And while I do use that word more often than I probably should, it really and truly applies to these graham crackers. They taste just like the store-bought version, only way better. And they are so much healthier. No extra, artificial ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup. And man would these be good used for s'mores.
Once Juliet woke up from her nap, she agreed with me. LOVED these things. And now that she has enough teeth, she can happily crunch her way through a whole cracker. Erik loved them, too. And though I probably shouldn't admit this, the dough is almost better than the baked cookie. There aren't any eggs in the recipe so it's ok to take a taste of the dough, right?
Homemade graham crackers (recipe via Weelicious, this cookbook is awesome, I've made a few things from it and they were great)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/4 cup honey (I used pure organic maple syrup instead)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a food processor or standing mixer, combine the flours, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.
3. Add the chilled butter to the mixture and pulse/mix until the mixture resembles course meal.
4. Add the honey or maple syrup and 1/4 cup water and continue to mix until well combined.
5. Remove the dough, shape it into a flat disk, and place it between two large pieces of parchment paper.
6. Roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into crackers or shapes (I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter, which worked well. Make sure to roll the dough thin enough, mine was a tad too thick).
7. Place the crackers on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. They're a little soft when they come out of the oven, but they firm up nicely.
8. Cool and serve. Store, covered, on the counter for up to 1 week or up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
I felt very proud of myself for baking these and even though they are just silly little graham crackers, I felt somewhat inspired. I should make time for baking if it's important to me. Either I need to coordinate baking time with Juliet's naps or Erik needs to take over and give me an hour or two to be in the kitchen uninterrupted. I just need to make it a priority.
I'd love to get back to more regular food posts on Eat Drink Pretty. I'd love to hear your comments about recipes I share.
In the meantime, please make and enjoy these graham crackers, either for yourself or for your little ones. They are so worth it.