Homemade Graham Cracker Crumbs
Okay so call me crazy, it’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. But at least I can say one thing for myself. I’m organized. And this one quality will see me though.
Yes, it’s true, I’ve planned a dinner party and invited 35 people – in my 1300 square feet (130 square meter) apartment but it will be cozy! Anyways, This Is China (TIC). About 25% won’t show up, some won’t even call to give their regrets. No problem. For-warned is for-armed! That leaves me with about 27 guests to cook for.
Having made my list of what to serve and what I need to buy, I will do some staple food shopping tomorrow and fresh food shopping on Thursday when I will start to do some cooking such as baking the desserts and freezing them. Today I washed all of the drinking glasses and wine glasses, put them out on one of the serving tables and covered them with a cloth to keep them clean. I know, it’s still seven days to the party. But I worry there is just too much to do all at once and it’s better for me to spread out the work.
The first reason for the party – Casper and James are leaving China at the end of August. They have been good friends to me, helping me to attend to details here while I was back in Toronto for five months, having surgery. Second reason, my landlord and the seven families of the students I have been tutoring in English have been so very kind to me so I want them to come and have a good time at my house. Third reason, I love to cook and entertain – I’m even good at it.
Lastly I am taking a breather from writing this week – not going to write at all on my memoir. I need some time to digest certain memories that have popped up from the process and get some time to think about it all. I’ve been going pretty much full steam ahead with the two book projects for about 3.5 months. The cookbook is finished, awaiting illustrations and the book cover, also the smashwords.com formatter to make it ePublish-able. It’s like giving birth to a baby!!!! I guess then the really hard publicity work will begin.
In preparation for this party which is this coming Saturday night, one of the desserts I want to make is a cheesecake. But without a graham cracker crust (TIC), a cheesecake is not that delicious. So I scouted out a few online recipes and came up with one that was simple and had no exotic ingredients. I came up with this recipe by adjusting, adding and subtracting to suit my taste. I hardly remember what they are supposed to taste like but for making into crumbs and mixing with butter for a crust they should be perfect.
One of the things I didn’t do, perhaps I made a mistake on this, is that I didn’t divide the rolled out dough into crackers. Well, anyways if you try this recipe you can go the extra mile and divide the rolled out dough into 4 inch by 4.5 inch squares and make holes by poking them with a fork. Otherwise I am satisfied with this first attempt and would certainly make them again.
Homemade Graham Cracker Crumbs
Yield: 2 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt (4 grams)
½ cup unsalted butter,
1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover
1 ½ tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon cinnamon
7 tablespoons (77 grams) milk, full-fat
2 teaspoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extra
Combine flours, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a food processor.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Remove from food processor to a covered bowl. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.
Remove for the refrigerator and let the dough stand for 15 minutes. Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with a lot of flour. Sprinkle with more flour on top and roll out one of the dough pieces flat to about 7 x 15 inches.
Place the parchment onto a baking sheet.
Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until lightly browned on the edges.
Cut into 1 inch squares and allow to dry for a day. Grind in a food processor or place in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin. Then store at room temperature in an airtight container.