Monday, February 16, 2015

Prepare Today Homemade-- Graham Crackers & Graham Cracker Crust Recipes

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If we all looked as good as we portray ourselves on social media most people have perfect lives, with perfect children, and perfect recipes that bake up perfect every time.  Well, I'm here to keep it real.  A lot of what comes out of my kitchen is not blog worthy, but this oops deserved to blogged about.

It didn't quite set up.
 On Tuesday night I am helping out with a preparedness class at church and I volunteered to bring a food storage related dessert.  I thought a no-bake cheesecake would be perfect. I have wanted to try cream cheese powder forever! Thank goodness I decided to try it out on my family first!  That liquid mess in the pie dish above is suppose to be cheesecake.  It never set up.  It sat in the fridge and then the freezer for hours and never set up.  You can see we ate the crust from under it, which was yummy, but the cheesecake part was a total flop.  I may be panicking just a little if I can't figure this out by tomorrow. 

So I am going to share with you my graham cracker recipe and also the recipe for the graham cracker crust.  I did find a cheesecake recipe that worked, thank goodness, and I'll share that later this week.

Homemade Graham Crackers
2 C whole wheat flour
1 C white flour (can use all whole wheat)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 C butter softened (1/2 C butter powder + 1 1/2 T water)
1/2 C brown sugar
1/3 C honey
1 t vanilla
1/4-1/2 C milk  
extra flour for dusting and rolling out
 Cream the butter, sugar, and honey until fluffy.  In another bowl mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda and slowly add to the creamed butter mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla.  Only add enough milk for the dough to come together. The dough will be sticky and not quite like a bread dough when you have added enough milk.  (I had to add about 1/2 C more flour to be able to get it out of the bowl) Cover the dough and place in the fridge for an hour or up to overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350°. Divide the dough into fourths. Working with only one section, leave remaining dough in the fridge, roll out onto the bottom of an ungreased jelly roll pan.  Don't be afraid to use a lot of flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and your hands.  It's a really sticky dough!

Roll as thin as possible, almost paper thin, using your hands to flatten if necessary.  Prick with a fork and score into graham cracker shapes. Bake 11-14 minutes.  Watch the crackers at the 11 minute mark, the edges tend to burn quickly.  Once done score the crackers immediately after taking out of the oven and remove to a cooling rack.  If they cool on the cookie sheet they will stick.

Repeat with the remaining quarters of dough.

These are a hit at my house, even my husband loves them!  They would be really good with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top before baking them. A great use for graham crackers is to make a super simple crust with them.  I needed to make a few crusts for my preparedness class and this was the best part of this whole process.

 It was kind of therapeuticec to bang all those crackers into crumbs.  They broke easily and then I was ready to make a few graham cracker crusts.

 Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 C finely ground graham crackers
1/3 C sugar
6 T butter melted (6 T butter powder + 1 1/2 T water)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  (if using butter powder don't use all the water at first.  Pour about half and stir the mixture and add more as necessary until the crumbs start sticking together.) Don't be afraid to use your hands to incorporate all the crumbs and butter.  Press into pie pan or 13x9 pan.  Chill for 1 hour, or if the recipe calls for a baked crust bake at 375°for 7 minutes. 

Stay tuned later this week for the recipe for the cheesecake that filled this delicious crust!  I found two great ways to make a no-bake cheesecake that use all shelf stable ingredients!!!

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