It’s summer so of course I am thinking about s’mores. Listen, I grew up in the 1970s, I went to a lot of different camps and I never met a crunchy-gooey delight I didn’t like so they were the summer treat of my era. All these years later, I can’t remember the last time I made a lanyard or a God’s eye yarn thing but the craving for s’mores is deeply encoded in me. Of course to make the best s’mores, you need a good graham cracker. That’s what got me thinking about today’s recipe.
I love graham crackers but I have a gluten sensitivity that prohibits most of the store-bought brands, though there are a few that work. By the way, you may have figured that graham crackers came to us via Sylvester Graham, an early vegetarian and, well, generally kooky guy and it refers to the coarse-ground whole wheat flour he espoused. Graham did develop these eponymous crackers as unsweetened, dense biscuits for his mid-19th century dietary followers, called Grahamites, and eventually they became mass produced near the end of the 1800s and sweetened up.
My version is less sweet than the boxed brands, though you can certainly up the sugar, and it’s softer because I was nervous about rolling the dough too thin. If you feel so inclined, feel free to try that out but I was fine with a less crunchy graham cracker. You could also bake them longer but keep an eye on your oven! With the molasses, putting together the recipe is a bit like making gingerbread cookies. It’s a very forgiving dough.
Enjoy as your bookends for s’mores or just as wholesome, tasty cookies.
1 tablespoon ground flax 3 tablespoons aquafaba or water 2¼ cups all-purpose, gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour) ¼ cup granulated sugar 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ⅓ cup pure maple syrup 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (refined to not avoid the coconut flavor) or 4 tablespoons melted vegan butter 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk, more if needed
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and get a baking sheet out.
In a small cup, stir together the flaxseed and aquafaba or water. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Create a well in the middle, and add the maple syrup, melted coconut oil or vegan butter, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and non-dairy milk. It will be thick. Knead with your hands and if it’s too dry, add a little more milk by the teaspoon. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour until it comes together.
Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper. Split the dough in two and place one half on the parchment. Sprinkle lightly with flour and roll into a rough rectangle shape until it’s ¼ to ⅛-inch thick. Score the rolled dough into rectangles and cut off any excess pieces to incorporate into the next batch. Pierce each rectangle with a skewer to recreate the iconic graham cracker look. Lift the parchment with the dough onto your baking sheet.
Bake for 13 - 15 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cut the crackers out along the scored lines and cool to room temperature on the baking sheet. They will get crunchier as they cool.
Repeat the same process with the second batch of dough. Once cooled to room temperature, store in a sealed container.