Today the kids made their own graham crackers for snack! It was fun for them to roll out the dough, poke the dough with a fork to make holes (so the crackers would stay flat and not puff up), and then use the pastry roller to cut out cracker shapes. Pizza cutters might have worked better because the guard on the pastry roller kept getting caught in the dough. Some kids cut their graham crackers into four, some into ten tiny little crackers, but all enjoyed the process. Cookie cutters work, too! And they store surprisingly well.
If you are a teacher or parent looking for a fun (and forgiving) cooking project to do with your kids, this one is for you : ) Me and the first couple of kids to arrive made the dough, and everyone else did the rolling, poking, and cutting.
p.s. Leslie made Banana-Cashew Balls in the afternoon. This no-bake, cookie-dough-esque treat was a big hit with the kids (and, ahem, me).
Cinnamon-y Graham Crackers
Adapted from this recipe
Yields equivalent to about 12-14 of the store-bought graham crackers
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar or 1/3 cup sucanat or dehydrated cane juice
1/2 teaspon baking soda
scant 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons molasses, rice syrup, honey, or maple syrup (molasses works best)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water or non-dairy milk (we used almond milk)
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment (or spray with nonstick spray).
Mix dry ingredients with a whisk. Make a well in the center and add wet ingredients, giving it a quick whisk and then stirring it into the dry mixture with a wooden spoon. Knead with your hands as needed to create a dough that holds. Add a bit of water or milk if the dough is too dry (not too much!).
On a floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the crackers into the shapes you want (this can be perfect rectangles or, as the photos below suggest, very imprecise...it doesn't matter much. Pierce the dough with a fork a few times so the crackers don't puff up when baked.
Trasnfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 11-12 minutes. They should be darkish around the edges. When it's time to take them out of the oven, you will smell the done-ness when you open the oven door. They will harden as they cool.
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