Thursday, November 26, 2009

Autumn Treats: Pumpkin Graham Crackers

Graham crackers are a staple of childhood. I remember kindergarten snack time when we would get a little waxed container of milk with a straw and two graham crackers. Somewhere along the line we outgrow graham crackers, even though everyone seems to love them as a child. In adulthood it seems they are only good for campfire s'mores. I'm not sure why that is, but it's a shame. It's also sad that no one ever makes homemade graham crackers, as they are quick and easy and can be cut into a multitude of shapes, not to mention they are low in sugar, made with a whole grain flour, and tasty.

Graham flour is the base for the cracker dough. What starts out as whole wheat kernels is carefully ground to ensure that the bran, germ and endosperm remain in the flour. Most mills separate the endosperm from the bran and germ, grinding the endosperm finely. The bran and germ are coarsely ground and added back into the endosperm. What you get is a texture somewhere between white and whole wheat flour, but with a slightly sweet, nutty taste.

With all the pumpkin puree I have been making, I tried out this recipe, courtesy of the Cupcake Project. I made them plain, sprinkled with Demerara sugar, and with an icing drizzle. Adding the sugar or the drizzle sweetens these up a bit and makes them more festive for serving, but the plain ones will bring back fond memories.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 egg
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon water
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 cups graham flour
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Demerara sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the butter, pumpkin, egg, and sugar in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Stir in the honey and molasses.

Dissolve the baking soda in the water and add to the butter mixture. Add the salt, graham flour, all-purpose flour, and spices to the mixture and blend thoroughly. The dough should hold together and be manageable. If it is too tacky, add a little more graham flour.

Liberally dust a surface with graham flour and roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. You can cut into squares or use cookie cutters to make shapes. (If you want to sprinkle with Demerara sugar, now is the time. Pat or roll it in.) Score each cookie with the tines of a fork several times.

Using a spatula, place the pumpkin graham crackers on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on racks. They won't be hard when you first take them out of the oven, but they will harden as they cool.

If you want to use an icing drizzle, mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon light corn syrup and 1 1/2-2 tablespoons milk. Mix thoroughly and either put in a piping bag with a small round tip, or put in a small Ziploc bag, cutting of just a bit of the corner to allow icing to flow out in a thin stream.


Me and My Pink Mixer said...

Wow I have never had homemade graham crackers! Saving this recipe to try soon :)

Mrs. B said...

I never had either. They were easy and fun. I think you will like them.