Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nancy Silverton's Graham Crackers

Baby girl isn't really a baby any more. Actually, she's nearly two, running, talking, dancing and exerting her will. I finally realized that this week as I jumped into the imbroglio that is preschool applications. You see, in New York City, applying to preschools is a stressful mad rush where parents are expected to write mission statements for their children, the kids are interviewed and there's a very good chance your smiling, sweetness and light of a child may not get in to her first or second choice. Or, should I say, your first or second choice.

Sound like college? Yeah I think so too, but, as my mom said when I was applying nearly 14 years ago, "there is a college for everyone," and so my new mantra is now, "there is a preschool for everyone." She'll get in somewhere and this time next year, baby girl will have to be renamed into something like lil' girl as we walk together down the street in anxious excitement for her first day of school.

That being said, baby girl did start her little preschool prep class this week - yes, I know how funny that sounds. In an effort to get the kids use to a preschool setting, they have snack and story time at the end of every class. I was to bring a snack that didn't include nuts or seeds of any kind. I wanted to bring some sort of cracker, but upon looking in my cabinet, I discovered I really am a nut and seed kinda gal and baby girl is too: nothing but nuts and seeds in there.

I decided to use this snack requirement as an excuse to make Nancy Silverton's recipe for graham crackers. I picked up her book, Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery a few weeks ago and have been been flipping the pages, doggy earing some and post-iting others. I'd read countless blog entries and magazine articles, all of them claiming Silverton's graham crackers are the last word on graham crackers. Well, I'm a broken record because it's true!! Not only are they delicious, but these crackers are ridiculously easy to make. I knocked out the dough in about 5 minutes. Seriously, whether you have a kid or you don't, treat yourself like one and make some graham crackers soon.

**Notes and/or changes I made to Silverton's recipe:

  1. I found and adore organic whole wheat pastry flour. I try to use whole wheat whenever possible for baked goods. White Whole Wheat Flour by King Arthur is also a great choice.
  2. I didn't have whole milk and was short on 2% so I used the heavy cream left over from last week's molasses cake. It was grass fed and just 5 tablespoons so I'm feeling no guilt.
  3. As much of a perfectionist as I am in the kitchen, I am also inherently lazy and impatient. I did not wait 4 hours for the dough to chill. I just waited an hour.
  4. Once I cut the crackers and lay them on the cookie sheet, I cooked them immediately rather than returning them to the refrigerator for another chill session.
  5. Also, the recipe called for 20-25 minutes in the oven. Mine burned (perhaps because I hadn't chilled them a second time?). I found that 15 minutes was perfect in my oven.
  6. Lastly, I also added a pinch of nutmeg to the sugar and cinnamon topping and it was yummy in my tummy.  
 Approximate Dinner Cost
• Groceries - $2.00
• Leftovers – Expect 12 servings at a $.16 each.

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  1. These look amazing. I've never made graham crackers before and now I really want to!

  2. It almost makes me wonder if I should ever buy another box of Minute Maid graham crackers again.

  3. Thank you! And thank you, Nancy Silverton. Her recipe is truly amazing.

  4. The crackers were delish - but I must try that Molasses cake. That looks amazing. JKM

  5. I lived in France for 25 years, where it was impossible to find graham crackers at the store, and I often got a strong longing for the taste. Thanks for posting this recipe. It never occurred to me that I might make them from scratch!

  6. Oh wouldn't I love to live in France for 25 years. It must've been an amazing experience.

    JKM, Hi!! You will love that molasses spice cake. It's so yummy.

  7. I make my own Graham Crackers as well. Not only are they impossible to find in NZ, making them cuts out corn syrup and any weird ingredients added for shelf life.

    I've got a whole container full of Graham Cracker crumbs waiting for the day when limes are cheap enough for me to make a Key Lime (style-no actual key limes, of course) Pie. Sigh. Key Lime Pie.



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