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Graham crackers remind me of good things: elementary school recesses, tall glasses of cold milk, and, of course, campfires and roasted marshmallows. But until now I'd never had anything except the store-bought variety. It turns out DIY graham crackers are incredibly easy, even for novice bakers. The results taste just like Nabisco or Honey Maid—but with loads more flavor.
I used Nancy Silverton's recipe from her cookbook, Pastries from the La Brea Bakery, and then tweaked it ever so slightly to give it my own New England spin.
The tweaks: I replaced a half cup of the flour with finely ground walnuts, and swapped maple syrup for the honey. I also decreased the amount of vanilla extract a bit (two tablespoons sounded like a lot). The teaspoon of maple extract in my recipe is nice but not necessary. If you don't have a bottle in your pantry, don't feel like you have to go out and buy one just for this.
The best part about this recipe: its simplicity. The dough just involves throwing a bunch of ingredients in the food processor, which is then chilled overnight. The next morning it was super easy to work with. I used a rolling pin, tape measure, and kitchen knife to form the dough into perfect rectangles, and the tines of a fork to decorate them.
These graham crackers are crunchy, toothsome, and just a smidge sweet. They really do taste like a punched-up version of the store-bought kind. The hints of walnuts and maple syrup make me want to slather them with cream cheese, but they would be equally delicious sandwiched with chocolate and marshmallows, or served in lieu of a biscuit with coffee or tea.