Friday, April 18, 2014

Cinnamon Nutmeg Honey Graham Crackers

I have a new appreciation for people who play stringed instruments. It's hard. I mean really hard. Remember that mandolin I said I bought and was going to learn to play, while I sit in my beautiful new outdoor patio nook? Did you think I was joking? Well I was not. I can't even get my fingers positioned right to strum a single cord. Let alone put a bunch of them together in something that sounds like music. Do all stringed instrument players have really large and flexible hands because mine don't seem to stretch in the necessary ways.

The mandolin is just one new hobby in a long line of activities Blake and I have attempted to master together. Learning new things together keeps us engaged in our relationship. In the past four years, we have taken on beer and mead brewing, cheese making, vegetable gardening, some failed attempts at carpentry, mushroom growing, making homemade bitters, book clubbing, and now the mandolin. It keeps things interesting. I told Blake a couple of weeks ago he married the most interesting girl in the world. His response was, "The most interesting girl in the world. She doesn't always drink wine, but she usually does." 

This most interesting girl most recently made graham crackers. Cinnamon nutmeg honey graham crackers to be exact and I love them. I love them a whole lot. So much I have made them twice in the last three weeks. So much I'm not sure I will ever go without them in my house. These graham crackers are nothing fancy but they are satisfyingly nutty, crunchy, slightly sweet, and warming spice delights. They satisfy my sweet tooth. Later this afternoon you will find me doing hand yoga on the mandolin, while enjoying a big plate of these. 

Cinnamon Nutmeg Honey Graham Crackers 
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, makes two cookie sheets full 

1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
3/4 cup packed brown sugar 
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt 
4 tbs unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes 
1/3 cup honey 
1/2 cup milk 
2 tbs vanilla extract 

2 tbs sugar
2 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp nutmeg 

Combine both flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Pulse 5-7 times to mix. Add butter and pulse until a coarse mixture forms. 

Whisk honey, milk, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture in the processor and pulse until dough comes together. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and chill for an hour. 

After the dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Flour a work surface and roll out half the dough to a rectangle about an 1/8" thick. You could at this point cut off the uneven edges of the dough to make perfectly square cookies. I'm less about perfect squares and more about saving time so my graham crackers were more rustic in appearance. Cut rolled out dough into roughly 2" by 4" rectangles or whatever size your heart desires. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar over the top. Leave this baking sheet in the fridge while you roll out the other half. 

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You will never buy graham crackers from the store again. 

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