April 21, 2008

Graham Crackers & S'mores


One of the foods my family loves to eat on balmy nights sitting around on the patio are S'mores. We'd bring out the graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate, put them together and then set them on the grill for a quick warm up. When the weather is too chilly to brave the grill, I make up S'mores using the toaster oven. To have a S'more though, you need a good graham cracker. It's the most important aspect of the S'more, as it holds together the toasted marshmallow and melted chocolate.

My children have been asking for me to make graham crackers for a while. I finally found a delicious recipe to get me started from Nancy Silverton, the former chef of La Brea Bakery and Campanille, in her book Pastries from La Brea Bakery. This gluten free version of the graham cracker offers up a fragrant and full bodied cracker, rich with the flavors of buckwheat and chestnut.

This recipe makes up quickly either by hand or machine and is flexible in preparation. You can roll out and freeze the dough for baking later. Once the crackers are made, you can freeze them so that you can always keep a stock on hand for those moment when you'd really like a s'more.

My family preferred the crackers that were cooked just a little bit longer, because they had a satisfying crispness. We actually didn't end up making very many S'mores, as the crackers were devoured within days. Now I need to make up a batch to store in the freezer for those emergency S'more moments.

This is my entry for the April Edition of Go Ahead Honey It's Gluten Free blog event, created by the lovely and talented Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried. Our theme this month is Gluten Free Finger Foods. Swing back by on April 28th for the Roundup of all the wonderful gluten free finger foods that have been submitted.

Would you like to bake in another gluten free baking event? Check out the Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger event created by Sea of the Book of Yum. The May hostess is Rachel of Wheat-Free, Meat-Free, visit her blog to read more about the next event.

Recipe

Crackers

1/4 cup + 2 Tb buckwheat flour
1/4 cup + 2 Tb chestnut flour
1/4 cup + 1 Tb sweet potato flour *
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 1/2 tsp chia seed meal
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 Tb vegetable shortening, melted
3 1/2 Tb honey
2 1/2 Tb almond milk
1 Tb vanilla extract

Smores

Graham Crackers
Marshmallows
White, Milk or Dark Chocolate
Optional: Peanut Butter or Almond Butter

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients and stir together thoroughly. Note: Make sure the chia seed is thoroughly incorporated so that when the liquids aren't any little gel blobs.

2. In a large measuring cup, add the vegetable shortening, honey, almond milk and vanilla extract and stir together.

3. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl containing the flour mixture and stir. The dough will be slightly sticky.

4. Divide the dough in half and put one half on a sheet of parchment paper. Press down the dough with your hands and then cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Repeat this procedure with the other half of the dough. Then place the parchment paper covered rolled dough into the freezer for 20 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

6. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares or rectangles. Then remove the cookies from the parchment paper and place on the covered cookie sheet. Using a toothpick prick the dough to form 2 rows of 3 dots.

7. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes and rotate the pan at the halfway point so the crackers cook evenly. At 13 minutes the graham crackers will still be a little soft, at 15 minutes they will be crisper. Makes 24 graham crackers.

Substitutions

1. You can substitute the 1 1/2 tsp of chia seed meal with 1 1/2 tsp of xanthan or guar gum.

2. You can substitute the flours and chia seed meal with 1 1/4 cup + 1 Tb of gluten free flour mix that has a binder included.

3. If you can't find buckwheat in your area or you are allergic to it, try substituting millet instead.

4. You can substitute potato starch, tapioca starch or sweet rice flour for the sweet potato flour in this recipe.

* I purchased my sweet potato flour from Barry Farm Foods.

17 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Ahh, S'mores - love 'em!! I just posted about baking with graham crackers :0) LOVE your recipe, as always.

VeggieGirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carrie said...

those look wonderful! Wow, I had forgotten how much I miss graham crackers!! I can't wait to try these!! Thanks for sharing natalie!! Mmmmm.... smores!!

zebe912 said...

I had just found a super yummy whole wheat graham cracker recipe when I was told to go wheat free. Now I def. want to try this one. I was so happy to have finally found buckwheat flour today so I could make another recipe, and now I have to hunt down chia seeds & chestnut flour!? Does the search for random GF ingredients ever end?

What counts as a binder in the flour mixes? I'm new at this and don't know the finer points yet.

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Veggie Girl & Carrie - Thank you for the wonderful comments and stopping by to visit with me.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Hi Zebe912 - You can find chestnut flour at Glutenfree.com and the chia seeds can be bought at Native Seeds (www.nativeseeds.org) or at your local health food store. Simply put them in a coffee grinder/food processor/spice mill to process them into a meal.

The binder in this recipe is the chia seed meal. When liquids are added the chia seed meal will create a natural gel that will hold the crackers together. However, if you would like to go ahead and bake the crackers with the gf ingredients you have on hand, simply substitute 1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum for the 1 1/2 tsp of chia seed meal.

Does this help?

Sheltie Girl

Naomi Devlin said...

Great looking recipe, love all those flours. I can almost taste how they would bake up.....

x x x

The Good Eatah said...

Brilliant! And I thought I could never eat a "true" s'more again :)

I have buckwheat flour and chestnut flour on hand; I'm definately making this soon.

P.S. Your little devil and panda cookies are SO adorable. Your kids must have gone crazy over them.

Celine said...

could your blog be any more awesome?
I wish I weren't a tightwad and would buy some chestnut flour already, it sounds so tasty.

linds said...

What a creative recipe! This is my first time visiting your blog, but I can definitely relate to gluten-free cooking- my brother found out he had celiac's nearly 10 years ago, so family dinners always have a gluten-free component :) You have some awesome ideas here, I'll have to try a few out on my brother (and on me of course haha).

linda said...

Never had s'mores before but been wanting to try them. They look delicious!

dorothy said...

i'm definitely going to have to try gluten free baking soon! these look better than normal smores!
Btw, this is dorothy from DessertObsessed; your blog won't let me post as a wordpress blogger!

Miss Diane said...

I don't know if I will make s'mores, though they seems delicious, but I will surely make those graham crackers which I have been missing for so long.

BitterSweet said...

This is so wonderful- Homemade graham crackers have been on my to-do list, and I even have some extra chestnut flour that's been begging to be used. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Sheltie Girl said...

Naomi, The Good Eatah, Celine, Linds, Linda, Dorothy adn Miss Dianne:

Thank you for stopping by the blog and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate all the wonderful feedback on my cooking.

Sheltie Girl

mjennings26 said...

Just wanted to let you know that I tried these and they are really fantastic. I took them with me on a camping trip and they were just awesome. Thanks for this recipe!
Melanie

Hannah said...

I've never worked with chestnut or sweet potato flours...sounds like a good excuse to try.