Tom Wants S'more: Crisp Honey Grahams

I have been intrigued with the idea of baking graham crackers ever since I read this article in the Washington Post five years ago about Polly Brown, a professional baker whose graham crackers are sold in gourmet stores around D.C. This weekend, I finally got around to giving graham crackers a try, using the recipe for "Crisp Honey Grahams" from The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies & Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own.

Graham crackers are named for their inventor, the Reverend Sylvester Graham, who promoted them as a health food in the 1830s. Graham crackers are supposed to be made with graham flour, which is a specific type of coarse whole-wheat flour. The recipe I used calls for a mix of all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour. I don't even know where you can buy graham flour, so I was glad this recipe didn't call for it.

The dough is made from butter, sugar, dark brown sugar, honey, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. You chill the dough before rolling it out, cutting it into squares, and poking holes into the dough with a fork. I made my crackers into 2.5 inch squares.

I had to keep a close eye on the grahams in the oven, because they were thin and prone to burning. The recipe said they would take 15-20 minutes to bake, but mine were done in about 12 minutes. The cookies (they were definitely more cookie-like than cracker-like) were soft out of the oven, but they became quite crispy after they cooled. I thought that they resembled graham crackers only in their appearance; they tasted like hearty shortbread cookies, with slight hints of honey and cinnamon. Tom insisted that they did taste like graham crackers and were better than the store-bought variety. In either case, they required so much effort that I don't see myself making these too often.

Recipe: "Crisp Honey Grahams," from The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies & Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox.