The other day as the Mister was making a S'more in the micro-wave (too cold here for bonfires) using a homemade marshmallow I said to myself, "Self! Why don't you give making Graham Crackers a try." (Because that's how my mind works.) So I set about searching for a recipe as to how to make Graham crackers.
And I found several recipes! Just look at my crispy heartshaped graham crackers topped with pink heart shaped homemade marshmallows, topped with chocolate (heart shaped ofcourse!).
Now what's more fun than heart shaped S'mores for your sweetheart?
Back to making graham crackers. In my search I discovered that whole wheat graham flour is not very easy to come by. The graham cracker was developed in 1829 in Bound Brook, New Jersey by a Presbyterian Minister by the name of Sylvester Graham. The real and true graham cracker is made with a combination Graham Flour which is a combination of whole wheat and white flour and coarse-ground wheat bran and germ. So it is an actual flour you might find at your whole foods shop in the various flour bins. That is, if you live in the U.S. Actual Graham Flour is difficult to find outside of the U.S.A. But one can make substitutions and still come out with a fine Graham Cracker. Here is how I made my HOMEMADE GRAHAM CRACKERS:
Gather your ingredients. They aren't unusual (other than Graham Flour) and you probably have them in your pantry.
Step two: Cut cold butter into 1/4 cubes and add to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles cornmeal.
Step three: Add the wet ingredients (all of the remaining ingredients) and process until the dough forms a ball (about a minute).
Step four: Now you are ready to turn out the dough onto plastic wrap and press into a 1/2 thick dough disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight if you've got other stuff to do now. The dough can wait.
Step five: Once thoroughly chilled, remove the dough from the frig and roll out between two layers of parchment paper. Roll until the dough is 1/8 inch thick.
Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and remove the top layer of parchment paper. Now you can cut your graham crackers into traditional square shapes or, as I've done, using a metal cookie cutter cut the dough into heart shapes.
Using a fork, poke holes in all of the crackers on top of the dough. Then pop the sheet into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges just start to darken. And VOILA! I made heart shaped graham crackers!
Here is my graham cracker recipe. I tweeked the ones I found and came up with my own recipe, but you can always look up graham cracker recipes online for recipes from true chefs and bakers.
Graham Crackers Recipe:
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons of Graham Flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and chilled
1/4 dark molasses
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp. milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a food processor and pulse a few times until dry ingredients are combined. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Next, add the molasses, honey, milk and vanilla extract and process until the dough forms a ball. Press the ball into a 1/2 inch thick disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or overnight if you prefer.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Unwrap the chilled dough and place it between to sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough out until it is 1/8th inch thick. Slide the rolled out dough and parchment paper onto baking sheet and remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut the dough into squares (approximately 2" squares for traditional graham crackers) or using a cookie cutter cut into the shape you desire (I made hearts). Poke holes in the top of each cracker with a fork all the way through the dough. Place baking sheet into the oven on the center rack and bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges of the crackers just begin to turn brown. Remove crackers from the oven and set the sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Once cool you can break the crackers into individual crackers on the scored lines you made.
If you don't eat the crackers all up they will save in an airtight container for up to two weeks. But what's the chance of your yummy homemade crackers go uneaten for two weeks, eh? *wink*
Now that you know how to make homemade graham crackers and homemade marshmallows for your homemade S'mores, you need to make your chocolate hearts. For mine, I took a package of Wilton Candy Melts and melted them in the top of a double boiler.
Then, I poured the melted chocolate onto a parchment paper lined 8" X 9" baking pan and let it get cool and firm. Then, to get the same sized heart shapes as the marshmallows with a warmed metal cookie cutter I cut the chocolate into heart shapes.
Note: I didn't have a heart shaped candy mold to use so the cookie cutter method was all I had at my disposal. I highly recommend using an actual candy mold if you have one. It would be MUCH easier to do. Ha ha...I live and I learn.
I whipped up a new batch of marshmallows. This year I added pink food coloring to the batter to make pink marshmallows. Last year I left them white. Either way is fine.
And here is my very own, 100% homemade version of Valentine S'mores.
Next to do is to package them up for Valentine gift giving so I'll post the packages in a blogpost soon once I figure out how I want to package them.
I really hope you'll let me know if you give these a try. I had a blast making these the past couple of days. And now...I've got to go and help The Mister get marshmallow out of his beard.