When my children were smaller, one of their favorite poems was "Animal Crackers and Cocoa to Drink". Every once in a while, on a blustery day, I would give the children their own box of animal crackers, stir up a pot of cocoa and we would play games in front of the wood cookstove. There could be nothing cozier than a cup of cocoa and a crunchy, sweet cracker to warm your soul on a late fall afternoon!
Today, I was out of animal crackers (we don't buy them very often) but the cookstove was singing it's siren song and the children and I couldn't resist a game of Yatzee while sipping on cocoa. Being out of animal crackers, I decided to substitute homemade Honey Graham Crackers. They take only minutes to put together and are worth every minute. These crackers can be slightly soft (like a cookie) or crispier (like a cracker), depending on how long you bake them. They are perfect if you don't have much in the pantry because they only require basic pantry staples - other than the butter, which can be easily substituted with shortening. These graham crackers are full of flavor and good-for-you ingredients. I highly suggest baking a batch today!
Honey Graham Crackers
1 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C dark brown sugar (packed) can use light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C butter, chilled (or shortening)
1/4 C honey
1/4 C water
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Cut in butter (or shortening) with a pastry cutter (or you can use a food processor for this part) until the mixture resembles a course meal. Add the honey, water and vanilla. Stir until blended. Stir with your hands until the mixture becomes a softened, cohesive dough.
Putting the dough on a lightly floured surface, roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters (or cut like crackers). I used a fork to prick each cracker, although this step is not required.
Place on cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes.
I gave a couple of these crackers to our mail lady (fresh from the oven) and she said she had just seen a recipe for graham crackers but thought "who on earth would make their own graham crackers!". So, I guess now she knows!
And for all you romantics out there, our favorite "Animal Crackers"...
Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers I think;
When I'm grown up and can have what I please
I think I shall always insist upon these.
What do you choose when you're offered a treat?
When mother says, "What would you like best to eat?"
Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
It's cocoa and animals that I love the most!
The kitchen's the coziest place that I know;
The kettle is singing, the stove is aglow,
And there in the twilight, how jolly to see
The cocoa and animals waiting for me.
Daddy and Mother dine later in state,
With Mary to cook for them, Susan to wait;
But they don't have nearly as much fun as I
Who eat in the kitchen with Nurse standing by;
And Daddy once said, he would like to be me
Having cocoa and animals once more for tea.
|Graham Crackers go with tea as well as cocoa!|