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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Graham crackers

I'd decided I wanted to make a banana cream pie.  There's a place not too far from us that carries some great pies, but I don't want to spend that much of our budget on it.  I figured we'd be able to make one that's got to be just as good or even better.  I didn't want a regular pie crust because I think banana cream pie is best served with a graham cracker crust.  It turns out that that I cannot find a box of graham crackers that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it.  I'm certain that I could find a box somewhere but I'm not going to run around town looking for one when I can probably find something on-line.  After a short period of searching, I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  That woman is an awesome blogger and an even better cook and baker.  It is no surprise that I found the best graham cracker recipe where I have previously found my most favorite recipe of whole wheat ricotta berry scones.

I'm not generally big on graham crackers.  I've never gone out of my way to think that I needed a box of them to snack on.  They are usually summer fare, paired with a marshmallow roasted over a fire and some chocolate.  I remember my brother used to put a bunch in a bowl, crush them up, and pour milk over them, eating it like cereal.  I tried it once or twice, but never really LOVED graham crackers.  But, I do love graham cracker crust for pies.  

So Jaimie and I were making this dough last night, in the midst of trying to get a toddler and an infant with a cold to go back to sleep, because they kept waking.  After starting to put together the recipe, we decided to double it.  Going by the reasoning in the movie Contact - Why stop at one when you can have two at twice the price?  So the flour and sugar are in the blender (we don't have a food processor), we put in the frozen cubed butter for one recipe's worth.  At this point we decided to double the recipe.  I added the other amount of flour and sugar, but we didn't have more frozen cubed butter, so I cubed some and put it in the freezer.  We got distracted with the kiddos and eventually got back to making the crackers.  We put the recipe together and Jaimie rolled it out to the 1 inch as directed.  Once it was cooled in the fridge, I discovered the butter for doubling the recipe in the freezer.  Too late now.

I took the dough out of the fridge and then started to cut it.  I asked Jaimie why he had the dough so thick when the recipe called for 1/8 inch.  He informed me that I was to have rolled it out to 1/8 an inch AFTER it was refrigerated.  Oops.  I didn't want to ball it back up, especially because I was going to crush up the crackers anyway to make a crust, so I just pressed them with a roller and they looked not-so-pretty.  We put the other half in the fridge for making the next day. 

We did follow the recipe for actually baking the graham crackers.  They smelled really, really, really good.  When we got them out of the oven, they tasted really, really, really good - even with half the butter, even with uneven thickness, and looking as blah as a cracker could look.  They were quite crispy though, and Jaimie noted that they were very difficult to roll out before going in the fridge.

Jaimie said we had to make the other half of the dough today, because he would not be able to leave enough for the pie crust otherwise (we've got to also leave enough bananas for the pie, but we'll eventually get this pie assembled).  Tonight, we made the other half, with even thickness (though still short on the butter).  The recipe calls for cutting them into even squares, maybe even putting a line of holes down the center like store-bought crackers, but we're more au naturel here.  I just cut them into pieces with the rough edges from rolling and put 'em in the oven (our awesome, wonderful oven).  The house again smells delicious and we've got an evening of snacking ahead.  If we don't eat them all (and all the bananas again), maybe I'll get to post about making our banana cream pie.

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